MARCO GARCIA/Associated Press
The safety play was a complete disaster for the Bears last year. Chris Conte and Major Wright would stand in the crosshairs alone if it wasn't for an equally bad defensive line to help shoulder the blame.
It shouldn't just stop with one free-agent safety for the Bears. Signing a player like T.J. Ward would be huge, but it would only cover half of the problem.
Ward is an in-the-box strong safety who is a tackling machine with improving cover skills. This helps against the run, but there would still be a hole the size of Randall Cobb over the top.
Conte will get every opportunity to bounce back and be the starting free safety in 2014, but the Bears better bring in some competition.
Last year, it was Craig Steltz behind Conte, which meant the Bears were forced to stay with the Conte roller coaster no matter how bumpy it got. A veteran safety has to be signed in addition to an impact option.
It would be wise to spend the big bucks at strong safety. Wright is a free agent with no chance at returning in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune. This scratches a center field-type player like Jairus Byrd.
There are solid veteran options at free safety. The Carolina Panthers' Mike Mitchell and New Orleans Saints' Malcolm Jenkins are two intriguing names who won't break the bank.