One of the Chicago Bears’ biggest weaknesses last season on the defensive side of the ball was at the safety position, as Major Wright, Chris Conte and Craig Steltz all struggled to bring down ball-carriers and suffered an inordinate number of coverage breakdowns in the pass defense side of the game.
Although the team has inked one safety to a deal this offseason in bringing Ryan Mundy into the fold, they are still in the market for some good help at the position. That notion has been reinforced this week as it was revealed that Wright will be visiting with Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week.
The move would make a lot of sense from Wright’s perspective, as he will be staying in the Tampa-2 system that he learned while he was with the Bears, and would also afford him not only the ability to play with Smith again, but also to play in the state where he made his name as a college standout at the University of Florida.
As for the Bears, Wright’s decision to explore signing with the Buccaneers simply reinforces their weakness at the safety position, but there are still plenty of ways that they could address their shortcomings in that area. Players like Danieal Manning are still on the market in free agency (although the former Bear already has drawn interest from the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals), and there are a slew of options available in the first few rounds of the NFL Draft.
If Phil Emery chooses to address the position in the first round, then Ha-Ha Clinton Dix could be an option. If he goes for the position later on, then guys like Jimmie Ward (a Northern Illinois product) and Lamarcus Joyner out of Florida. The latter play did line up for some snaps at Florida as a cornerback, and that versatility could be something the Bears could really use to their advantage if they can snag him.