Bears are being urged to signs this STUD safety once they let go of Eddie Jackson
BY V. CARBONNEAU DECEMBER 4, 2023 (12:20)
In a recent article by Bill Zimmerman of Windy City Gridiron, he compiled a list of six players the Bears should consider pursuing during the upcoming offseason, with Geno Stone being mentioned as a potential successor to Jackson.
Zimmerman expressed his thoughts, stating, "I have a lot of respect for Eddie Jackson, but I believe he's entering his final year in Chicago. He's currently one of the weaker links in the secondary, facing challenges in terms of staying healthy. Stone, on the other hand, could be acquired at a more budget-friendly rate and should, at the very least, match Jackson's performance while providing stability in the heart of the secondary."
According to Spotrac, if Jackson were to be released in 2024, the Bears would incur a dead cap hit of $5.6 million. Jackson, a first-team All-Pro in 2018, is set to earn a base salary slightly above $14 million for the next season. However, his performance has declined since his standout year, and he has struggled with injuries, missing five games in the current season and failing to complete a full season since 2020. Consequently, it appears likely that the Bears will seek a change after the season concludes. So, what could they expect from a player like Geno Stone?
In Geno Stone, the Bears would acquire a promising talent on the rise. Stone has appeared in 12 games and started eight for the Ravens in the current season. He has amassed 49 tackles and deflected eight passes, with his six interceptions ranking second in the NFL heading into Week 14. At just 24 years old, Stone is entering his prime during his first season as a starter in Baltimore.
Drafted by the Ravens in the seventh round out of Iowa in 2020, Stone primarily contributed on special teams during his initial three years in the league. He had only one interception in his first three seasons before his breakout performance this year. Ravens' passing game coordinator and secondary coach Chris Hewitt praised Stone's instincts and football IQ, highlighting his consistent excellence whenever given the opportunity.
Considering the Bears' defensive needs, which also include additional defensive tackle and edge rusher acquisitions, addressing the safety position is imperative. Geno Stone represents an ideal choice for this role.
Zimmerman estimates Stone's potential contract to be a three-year deal worth $27 million, with $15 million guaranteed. This projection suggests a cost-effective signing for a young and promising ball-hawking safety.
Standing at 5'11" and 210 pounds, Stone is only slightly shorter than the 6-foot Jackson but possesses greater speed and a more favorable injury history. Bringing in Stone at a salary ranging from $9 to $10 million per season would not only offer cost savings compared to Jackson but also inject youth and vitality into the secondary.
Jackson, who turns 30 years old on December 10, may need to deliver an exceptional performance to secure his place on the roster for the remainder of the season. However, even such a display might not guarantee his future with the team.