Adrian Amos, Safety, stay.
Amos was a member of a lethal playmaking trio consisting of him and his counterparts, Eddie Jackson and Kyle Fuller in Chicago’s vaunted defense in 2018. Amos highlights the list of Bears players that await decisions on their futures in the windy city. Amos’ speed, range and coverage skills paired with his ability to make an impact playing in the box has been essential to the success of the Bears’ defense. While he’s not irreplaceable, there’s no reason for the Bears to want to replace him heading into 2019.
Kevin White, Wide Receiver, go.
We all know the reason behind this one. White, the seventh-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, has only played in 14 career games, starting in five. One of the biggest draft busts in recent years, Chicago can wave goodbye to White and only hope he can say healthy with whomever gives him a new NFL home.
Aaron Lynch, Edge, stay.
Lynch was a pleasant surprise for the Bears in 2018. The former San Francisco 49er played in 13 games this past season, making plays when it mattered. The rotational edge defender recorded 16 tackles, 3 sacks and one interception.
Bryce Callahan, Cornerback, stay.
This is a no-brainer. Callahan drastically improved his play after the 2016 season, intercepting two passes in both 2017 and 2018 as well as forcing one fumble and recording three sacks in that span. Callahan was arguably the best nickel cornerback in the NFL in 2018. With Callahan turning his potential into results, Chicago has zero reasons to let him hit free agency.
Josh Bellamy, Wide Receiver, stay.
Truthfully, this one can go both ways. Chicago isn’t faced with a glaring hole if Bellamy leaves, but they would be losing a viable depth player at receiver. To me, Bellamy is one of those “why not re-sign him?” players.
Pat O’Donnell, Punter, stay.
This is something that doesn’t require a lot of thought. O’Donnell has done a fine job punting for the Bears since 2014, and it’s pointless to create a hole at a position that has consistency.
Eric Kush, Guard, stay.
Kush surrendered the starting left guard job to rookie James Daniels in 2018, but there is still a place for Kush in Chicago’s offensive line group. Kush is a more than capable fill-in player in case of injury on Chicago’s offensive front, and is also an experienced player that can teach a young guy a thing or two.
Benny Cunningham, Running Back, go.
Cunningham’s role in the Bears offense has diminished since the team selected Tarik Cohen in the fifth-round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Cohen does everything Cunningham did as the No. 2 back behind Jordan Howard, and he does it more effectively. There doesn’t seem to be a spot for Cunningham moving forward after Tarik Cohen essentially stole his job from him
Patrick Scales, Long Snapper, stay.
The Long Snapper position is even more of a forgotten role than Fullback, however it is very important to a team’s success on special teams. While Chicago has left a lot to be desired on special teams, the largest chunk of the blame for that falls on Kicker Cody Parkey.
Michael Burton, Fullback, go.
Continuing on the realization that Fullback is mostly an afterthought, playing time was scarce for Burton in 2018. The 26-year-old caught one pass for six yards last season. There’s little reason to employ a player that’s of little to no use to your team.
DeAndre Houston-Carson, Safety, go.
Houston-Carson is similar to Michael Burton. While he plays a much more important position, defensive snaps have been a rarity for Houston-Carson for much of his career with the Bears. Like Burton, it would make little sense for the Bears to go extending the contract of someone who rarely gets an opportunity to make an impact on the field.
Roy Robertson-Harris, Edge, stay.
Robertson-Harris can be described the same way Aaron Lynch was: pleasant. Robertson-Harris is also a rotational edge defender, and was more explosive and impactfult han Lynch was, earning 22 tackles and three sacks in 2018, added onto 12 tackles and two sacks in 2017. Robertson-Harris is an Exclusive Rights Free Agent this spring, and his production in limited playing time gives Chicago no reason not to offer the 25-year-old an ERFA tender.
Ben Braunecker, Tight End, go.
Braunecker, a 2016 undrafted free agent, has done his damage with the Bears in the preseason. Braunecker only has 7 receptions for 83 yards in regular season action in 36 career games. The Bears do not have much of a reason to retain the 25-year-old restricted free agent.