ESPNChicago's Jeff Dickerson offers strong insight into the career of Bears safety Kevin Payne, which ended Wednesday when he was traded to St. Louis. Payne was a good run defender, Dickerson writes, but his weaknesses in coverage were exposed when the Bears moved him to free safety in 2008.
There wasn't going to be an opportunity to play strong safety this year after the re-acquisition of Chris Harris. That the Bears got any compensation for Payne, even if it was only a conditional seventh-round pick, was unexpected.
As we discussed Tuesday, Harris and rookie Major Wright appear the strongest candidates to open the season as the Bears' starters. ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright suggests that Danieal Manning could figure as the nickel back. If you're curious where the Bears' safety depth stands after this week's shakeup, take a look at the chart above.