Report: Ex-Jets CB Buster Skrine Agrees to 3-Year, $16.5M Contract with Bears

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2019

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 23: Buster Skrine #41 of the New York Jets looks on against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Former New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine is reportedly signing a three-year, $16.5 million deal with the Chicago Bears, according to Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

It’s a 3-year deal worth $16.5M with $8.5M guaranteed, source said. https://t.co/l6eCOqpWhm

Skrine, 29, registered 58 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 14 games during the 2018 season. He earned a mark of just 57.3 from Pro Football Focus last season, 103rd amongst cornerbacks. Contrast that to Bryce Callahan, whom he'll likely be replacing as the Bears' slot corner and who had 45 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions in 13 games. 

More importantly, Callahan earned a grade of 81.4 from PFF, seventh amongst cornerbacks. He was arguably the best slot corner in football, making it hard to see Skrine as anything but a downgrade to Callahan. 

Jason B. Hirschhorn @by_JBH

The Bears will sign CB Buster Skrine to a three-year, $16.5 million deal, per @RapSheet. Skrine gave up completions on over 73 percent of his targets last season for 679 yards and five touchdowns, giving him a defensive passer of 120.6. That a marked drop-off from Bryce Callahan.

Andy Benoit @Andy_Benoit

Will be very interesting to see what Bryce Callahan gets now that #Bears have chosen to sign Skrine for $16.5M over 3 yrs. Callahan the much better player.

That doesn't mean Skrine won't be better with the Bears than he was with the Jets. And head coach Matt Nagy had high praise for Skrine in October.

"He's one of the better nickels in this league, if not the best," he said, per Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. "I mean, he's good. He's a good nickel in there."

Callahan, meanwhile, likely has a big payday coming, with Dan Graziano of ESPN.com predicting Callahan would sign on the market on a three-year, $27 million with $17 million guaranteed. That sort of deal is apparently more than the Bears were willing to offer, though it will be fascinating to see how much production the team will lose by cutting some money at the slot corner position.

Skrine has a lot to prove, in other words, as he joins one of the NFL's most feared defenses.