During the 2023 season, the future of Bears safety Eddie Jackson was unclear. A potential trade chip, he was not dealt at the trade deadline. It would come as a surprise if he were in Chicago for the 2024 campaign, however.
Jackson recently appeared to bid farewell to the city in an Instagram post, The 30-year-old has spent his entire career with the Bears, but injuries and finances have become a complicating factor in his situation. Jackson last played a full campaign in 2020, and he has recorded more than one interception in a season only once during that span.
The two-time Pro Bowler is due $14.15MM in 2024, the final season of his current contract. No guaranteed salary exists on his pact, however, so the Bears could move on with little financial implications. A release before June 1 would yield $12.56MM in savings with a dead cap charge of $5.58MM. Designating him a post-June 1 cut would alter those figures to $14.15MM and $3.99MM, respectively. Jackson’s brief message implies he will be let go in the near future, a move which would come as little surprise given the financial benefits of doing so.
Jackson’s resurgent 2022 performance – in which he recorded four interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles – drew a PFF grade of 76.2, the second-highest mark of his career. His rating this year (58.6) was in line with his others in recent seasons, though, due in part to poor coverage grades. The Alabama product allowed three touchdowns and a passer rating of 120.6 in coverage in 2023, something which would hurt his value in the event he reached free agency.
Jackson was mentioned as a name to watch on the trade front in advance of the trade deadline. Taking on the 2024 portion of his contract would have been burdensome for an acquiring team, though, and he finished out the year with Chicago. The former fourth-rounder logged a 100% snap share in each game he was healthy for, proving his ability to log a starter’s workload with the Bears or a new team moving forward.
Chicago has 2022 second-rounder Jaquan Brisker in place as a safety starter, and he will be counted on as a key defender for the foreseeable future. The Bears have a number of other inexpensive options at the position, including Elijah Hicks, Jaylon Jones, Quindell Johnson, Douglas Coleman and Adrian Colbert. Jackson, a veteran of 100 starts, could offer at least experienced depth on the backend of an interested team, although a free agent agreement would likely come at a much lower cost than what he is currently due.