The Chicago Bears defense was beyond disastrous last season, and the worst two players on the defense were most likely starting safety duo Chris Conte and Major Wright. That duo has been broken up this offseason, as Wright is no longer on the team after mercifully being allowed to leave in the offseason, and there’s a chance he could sign up with Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Meanwhile, Conte probably won’t start after the team signed M.D. Jennings, formerly of the Green Bay Packers, and Ryan Mundy. Jennings would be the FS and Mundy the SS if Jennings does indeed start over Conte at free safety, but it’s clear to me that the Bears didn’t do enough to upgrade at the position. At least the re-signed Charles Tillman and locked up Tim Jennings earlier, so it makes plenty of sense for the Bears to go after Ha Ha Clinton-Dix if the Detroit Lions or St. Louis Rams don’t take him first.
Conte and Wright were never as awful as they were last season, so there’s at least some hope Conte can bounce back. The Bears haven’t lost all faith in him yet, but ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson tweets that the team has announced Conte will be out for 4-5 months after shoulder surgery.
He isn’t a guarantee to be healthy for the start of the regular season, and it will be interesting to see how this impacts his future and the Bears draft strategy. Conte is just 25 and isn’t talentless, but he missed a ridiculous 16 tackles last season and is now in a precarious position if he misses training camp. Mundy is a pure in-the-box safety and Jennings was putrid for the Packers last year, so Conte could still start at free safety if the Bears don’t draft someone. His situation is worth monitoring closely.