<
>

Secondary needs Tim Jennings to bounce back

5/22/2015

Here is the final of eight positional breakdowns of the Chicago Bears' offseason roster following the NFL draft.

Position: Defensive back

Notable additions: Antrel Rolle, Alan Ball and Adrian Amos (fifth-round pick)

Notable subtractions: Charles Tillman, Chris Conte and Danny McCray

Summary: 2014 first-round pick Kyle Fuller is the Bears’ top playmaker in the secondary. As a rookie, Fuller led the team in pass breakups (9) and finished tied for first in interceptions (four). At the other cornerback spot, veteran Tim Jennings -- scheduled to earn a total of $4.5 million in 2015 -- needs to rebound after a mediocre 2014. Jennings failed to intercept a single pass last year after picking off 13 balls from 2012-13. Former Boston College undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Al Louis-Jean will try and earn a roster spot. Louis-Jean (6-foot-1, 187 pounds) appeared in nine games last year. The Bears also signed 6-foot-2 cornerback Alan Ball to a one-year contract. An eight-year NFL veteran, Ball has played for the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars. Two other cornerbacks vying for playing time: Demontre Hurst -- the Bears’ primary nickelback in 2014 -- and Sherrick McManis -- the team’s second-leading special-teams tackler (13). At safety, the Bears inked 32-year old Antrel Rolle to a three-year deal in free agency. Rolle is a former Pro Bowl player for both the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants. Rolle is expected to be one of the starting safeties, along with fellow veteran Ryan Mundy, who played well in his first season in Chicago. Mundy shared the team lead in interceptions (four) and finished second in total tackles (108). Mundy also proved to be a high-character guy in the locker room. Rookie Adrian Amos and Brock Vereen will compete for the backup spots. While Rolle and Mundy are built more like strong safeties, Amos and Vereen project to be free safeties. Vereen had 38 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble during his rookie season.