Adrian Amos, the former fifth-round safety whom the Bears coaxed outstanding mileage from over the past four years, is parlaying his success into a deal with the rival Green Bay Packers, according to the Packer Report.
The details of the contract, which can't be signed until the new league year begins Wednesday at 3 PM, weren't immediately announced. But it's expected the contract comes in at an average of roughly $9-10 million per year, more than Bears GM Ryan Pace was willing to spend. This year's safety market is entirely ablaze with Landon Collins and Tyrann Mathieu garnering Monday $14 million per year from Washington and the Chiefs, respectively.
Amos, who turns 26 next month, has started 57-of-65 games to begin his career after being selected No. 142 overall out of Penn State in 2015. The converted college corner brought a steadying, physical force to the back end of the Bears 'D,' but limited playmaking production (3 INTs, 3 FFs and 2 sacks). He earned a starting job immediately as a rookie but was temporarily replaced to begin his third season by free-agent signee Quintin Demps, only regaining his starting job — and putting together his best stretch of play in the pros — after Demps' injury.
It's unclear whether the Bears will opt to sign or draft Amos' replacement or perhaps promote internally, with Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson entering their fourth seasons in Chicago. Bush logged six starts as a rookie and three last season, when he was the next man up for injured Eddie Jackson in the final two regular-season games and wild-card defeat. DeAndre Houston-Carson has almost exclusively played special teams, where he's developed into one of the Bears' top performers.
The Bears, who agreed to sign RB Mike Davis and new nickel CB Buster Skrine Monday to deals with a combined max worth of $19.5 million, did free $11 million more in cap space Tuesday, when they converted Khalil Mack's signing bonus and part of his base salary totaling $13 million into a roster bonus. It's unlikely Pace would do so without having the money earmarked, so it's possible a big splash is coming soon, most likely at safety but outside linebacker and kicker can't be completely ruled out.
While the Packers' signing of Amos is certainly great news for a player who vastly outplayed his draft status and was one of the more dependable in Chicago in recent years, and it does create a void on the NFL's No. 1 defense, it's unlikely Bears fans look back on it with the same type of regrets they did when Julius Peppers switched allegiances in 2014.
Conversely, the Packers plugged a hole in their susceptible pass 'D,' but they appear to be overpaying for a somewhat limited player in a bloated safety market. Amos doesn't figure to provide much assistance to Green Bay when it comes to covering some of the Bears' bigger mismatch weapons in Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen, for instance.
But there's little doubt that one year after the Bears outbid Green Bay for Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson and matched the Packers' offer sheet to retain RFA Kyle Fuller, who went on to his first All Pro season, the NFL's oldest rivalry is alive and well ... in the offseason and regular season alike.