3. Eddie Jackson
Like last season, the Bears have a lot of cap space available to them for spending. As close as they say they are to winning, they'll certainly be active in the free agency market this offseason. But another way they can use that money is in the dead cap category to move on from players like Eddie Jackson.
The Bears drafted Jackson in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. He was part of a feared and dominant defense that won a national championship at Alabama. It was unexpected that he would be available to the Bears as late as he was.
He had a stellar rookie season that rolled into 2018 when the Bears defense was one of the best in the league. He recorded a career-high six interceptions and was elected a 1st team AP All-Pro. He made it to the Pro Bowl in both 2018 and 2019.
Then, Jackson's production fell off a cliff. He was missing tackles and just not showing the effort he once was. A report came out that he was going around saying tackling didn't matter if you just went for the ball. He was not the safety they had the first three years of his career.
The Bears now have a ton of young talent in the defensive secondary, including Jaylon Johnson (who WILL be on the Bears in 2024), Tyrique Stevenson, and Jaquan Brisker. These guys have stepped up and brought this unit back to life in a year they were not supposed to be competitive.
Jackson knows his time is coming. He and the Bears will be better off apart.