The Chicago Bears underwent a massive change to their roster. Gone are the likes of Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery. Players like Mike Glennon, Mitch Trubisky and Quintin Demps have arrived in their place. Because of their massive overhaul, a lot of veterans on Chicago’s roster are in precarious positions. These five players are in need of a big season to keep their jobs.
If I were to put Jeremy Langford on this list a year ago, you all would think I was crazy. However, Jordan Howard broke out in 2016, and now Langford’s spot on the Bears roster is in question.
As of now, Langford appears to be the first backup in command to Howard. This could definitely change over time, though. Chicago brought in veteran Benny Cunningham and rookie Tarik Cohen, both of whom have good chances to make the team. The Bears also still have Ka’Deem Carey on the roster. Even if Langford makes the Week 1 roster, he’s going to need a big season to stay on in 2018.
Zach Miller’s starting spot at tight end appears to be safe, for now.
He is coming off of a good 2016 season, but he has injury concerns and will be turning 33 in October. Plus, the Bears brought in Dion Sims and Adam Shaheen as competition. Both of those players are younger than Miller, so it’s clear that his time in Chicago is likely nearing an end. If he wants to beat out his fresher competition, he’s going to need a big season in 2017.
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Adrian Amos had a great rookie season, but his sophomore outing was not nearly as good. Although the Bears waited until the fourth round of the draft to take a safety, his starting job is still in question.
The Bears wanted Amos to make more plays in 2016, which many believed would happen. Instead, he ended up with the same amount of interceptions as the year before: zero. Considering how bad Chicago has been at generating turnovers recently, that number is unacceptable. Rookie Eddie Jackson will be vying for his starting job, even though it’s unlikely that a change will happen right away. However, Jackson could end up starting if Amos continues his 2016 level of play. That’s why the former Nittany Lion is in need of a big season this year.
As crazy as it seems, the Bears will need to make a decision on whether they should renew Kevin White’s fifth-year option next year. Sure, that’s still one year away, but, as of now, he hasn’t proven that he’s worthy of that.
White started off hot last year, but fractured his fibula in early October. The injury ended his season after just four games. He still has a lot of potential to tap into, but time may be running out for him to make an impact. The Bears added Markus Wheaton and Kendall Wright in free agency to help boost the team’s receiver group. If White can stay healthy, there’s no reason he can’t become a full-time starter. But, as we as Bears fans have come to know, that’s a big if.
– Jacob Infante is a National Editor for cover32 and also covers the Chicago Bears. He can be followed on Twitter @jacobinfante24.