In light of some new news, the Chicago Bears should have cornerback Trumaine Johnson at the top of their free agency list and it’s not really close.
It’s been years since the Bears enjoyed two solid corners on the outside. Should they tag (or re-sign) Kyle Fuller, the Bears will have a pretty good cornerback who is familiar with the defensive scheme.
Imagine if they added a proven veteran in Johnson.
It’s well known that Vic Fangio loves long, press-man corners. Johnson is exactly what he covets as he’s 6-foot-2 with 33-inch arms. He has a knack for the ball, is a solid tackler and isn’t afraid to be physical. He covers well and will even trail the best receivers on the team.
All of these are great, but what separates Johnson is his ability to predict, switch direction and break on routes better than a large number of cornerbacks in the NFL.
Signing Johnson and retaining Fuller would easily make them one of the most expensive cornerback duos in the league.
Johnson gives the Bears stability and a lock long-term for a true No. 1 cornerback. Should Fuller get tagged and still want to leave after the upcoming season, the Bears still have the advantage of having a top cornerback on the roster.
Worst case scenario, they’re stuck with needing to pair a Prince Amukamara type of cornerback to Johnson and that’s not a terrible position to be in either.
The Bears could do a lot worse than having a free agent, star cornerback as insurance for losing their own or having them play together. Even if only for one year it would be worth it.
It’s the same approach I’ve had with signing Bashaud Breeland. The difference? Johnson is better and more consistent than Fuller.
Visualize what kind of damage they could do together …
Will Johnson change the game for Chicago? Free agency starts soon – stay tuned and we’ll find out.