Quintin Demps, Bears Agree on 3-Year Contract

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09: Quintin Demps #27 of the Houston Texans celebrates Kansas City Chiefs turnover during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas. Kansas City won 30 to 0. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Free-agent safety Quintin Demps capitalized on a career year and cashed in Thursday when he signed a three-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle first reported the deal, citing the defender's representatives. Adam Caplan of ESPN added the expected terms of the contract include $5 million in the first season with a further $8 million over the following two seasons.

Demps made a modest base salary of $1 million last season, per Spotrac, but he earned a raise after he emerged as a steady presence at strong safety.

In 13 games—all of which were starts—the 31-year-old posted 55 tackles, nine defended passes, one forced fumble and a career-high six interceptions. Those six picks ranked second among all players in 2016 and first among safeties.  

Improvements as a ball-hawk raised Demps' profile substantially, but he also made a name for himself as a reliable defender around the line of scrimmage. According to Pro Football Focus' Matt Claassen, Demps topped all players in the Texans secondary with a run-defense grade of 83.0.  

"It's been a road less traveled for me, kind of like a journeyman, been on one-year deals the last five years," Demps said after earning AFC Defensive Player of the Month honors for December, per the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson. "Just to see my hard work pay off and get some respect around the league for me is huge. I appreciate it. One of my goals is to get some respect around the league and be known as a starter."

With his new contract reflecting that elevated status, Demps will attempt to build on a prosperous 2016 and develop into one of the NFL's more polished safeties. 

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He should immediately slide in as a starting safety for Chicago, though whether he works as a strong or free safety depends on the team's other offseason moves with his experience at both spots. Either way, he should help bolster a defense that ranked 15th in the NFL last season.

So even though Demps' rise has occurred on a delayed schedule, he seems to finally be hitting his stride following a standout campaign with the reigning AFC South champions.