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The Chicago Bears will have several strong choices at the safety position in free agency now that the 32 teams who choose to utilize their franchise tags have distributed them. Antoine Winfield Jr. was the best safety heading to the market, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put a tag on him. Nevertheless, Chicago will have access to a number of different players to cover up the vacuum created by the departure of veteran starter Eddie Jackson.

In order to complement third-year starter Jaquan Brisker, the Bears will be searching for a free safety. Head coach Matt Eberflus recently discussed the qualities the club would be seeking in Jackson’s successor.

You’re trying to find a man who complements him nicely. Jaquan is a strong safety, according to Eberflus, who made this statement during the scouting combine. “The candidate that we would be searching for must be physically fit, has range, have excellent communication abilities, and have ball skills. All of our players should be able to take the ball away. He must also have that. then develop into a leader over time.”

Eberflus gave the Bears flexibility in how they may handle the position, including using the draft or free agency.

“If it’s a free agent, he is gonna have to feel the temperature of the room and then dive into the leadership role,” Eberflus said. In light of this, let’s take a look at the best choices for safety when free agency begins the following week.

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Safety Jordan Fuller will be available for the first time after playing with the Los Angeles Rams for four years. Fuller possesses a solid stature at 6’2″ and 203 pounds, and he has experience patrolling the middle as a free safety. In terms of the Bears, he should be a player to keep an eye on.

Following two seasons in which he participated in 28 games, Fuller’s hamstring injury restricted him to just three games in 2022. With the exception of 2022, he participated in at least 92% of the defensive snaps for the Rams, demonstrating his durability. Over his four years, he has played 1,840 snaps at free safety, so that’s where he feels most at ease.

He finished with 94 tackles (one for loss), 3 forced fumbles, 8 pass breakups, and 3 interceptions in 17 starts the previous season. Fuller was a reliable cover man who gave up 25 receptions and 45 targets. As a result, quarterbacks against him had a 73.8 passer rating. He’s also a capable tackler. Fuller has a career missed tackles percentage of 9.3. Eddie Jackson’s is 14.1%, in contrast. Fuller may be the best option for the Bears if they want to go younger and less expensive.

Fuller is only beginning his peak; he turned 26 in early March. Fuller’s anticipated worth, according to PFF, is $4.7 million, making him a reasonably priced addition for the team that signs him.

Here’s a player that Chicago should pay close attention to. Xavier McKinney, who was selected by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2020 draft out of Alabama, is set to become a free agent and is expected to be highly sought after among safety candidates.

With 93 tackles, five interceptions, and a defensive score in 2021, the 6-foot, 201-pound McKinney had something of a breakout campaign. In 2022, he had a great start to the season, but an odd accident ended his career after eight games. During the team’s bye week, McKinney broke numerous fingers in an ATV accident that hurt his hand during a sightseeing trip in Cabo. After that, he appeared in just one game the whole season.

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