Bears Are Pursuing All-Pro Defender Ahead of Free Agency

The Chicago Bears have their eyes on the perfect Eddie Jackson replacement.

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears already had plenty of cap space heading into the 2024 offseason. They shed even more money off their books by cutting safety Eddie Jackson last week. Now, they have over $60 million in cap space and plenty of holes to fill in free agency.

It seems like they already started making moves even before free agency begins on Monday. To fill the void created by Jackson, Chicago reportedly met with another veteran Pro Bowl safety: Kevin Byard.

Bears Are Pursuing Kevin Byard as Eddie Jackson Replacement

According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Chicago Bears met with Byard on Friday. Byard was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles mid-season last year but failed to make the impact the Eagles were hoping for. He was subsequently released by Philadelphia to create more cap space.

Since Byard was cut, he is free to sign with any team at any time instead of having to wait until the official start of free agency. Acquiring the two-time All-Pro safety this early in the offseason would give the Bears an advantage in planning free agency.

Byard was a third-round pick for the Tennessee Titans in the 2016 NFL Draft. During his tenure with the Titans, he established himself as one of the best safeties in the league, leading the NFL in interceptions in 2017.

He is not the elite ballhawk he was earlier in his career, but Byard is still a productive backend defender. He rarely misses games, plays every snap, and consistently registers 100+ tackles for a season. The Bears would be hard-pressed to find a better safety in free agency than the 30-year-old veteran.

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