After we saw a few of the cuts made to begin the offseason, the madness has all but completely begun. The New Orleans Saints made a couple of moves recently, cutting ties with a handful of key veterans. One of those guys, 31-year old safety Roman Harper, is already involved in whispers regarding joining a new team.
A team that has been linked to Harper’s name would be a logical one, to some. The Chicago Bears most definitely need to make changes on defense, and safety is a position that must be upgraded. According to Michael C. Wright of ESPN Chicago, Harper may be on the Bears’ radar.
“I don’t see the Bears spending a ton of money to bring in one of the league’s better safeties. If they bring in a safety, I’d expect it to be a veteran they could bring in for a minimum type of deal. A guy like recently-released safety Roman Harper – provided another team doesn’t spend big on him in free agency.”
I see why adding a guy like Harper could benefit the Bears. He would be able to help Chris Conte in a big way, particularly in terms of where to line up and the kinds of angles needed to take in a variety of situations. Conte is still under contract for this next season, and unless the Bears draft a replacement, he will need to improve tremendously for the defense to be successful.
Harper, a nine-year veteran, has spent his entire career with New Orleans. He was cut because of his $5.87 million cap number for 2014 and the Saints had many decisions to make. Unfortunately for Harper, he was one of the casualties.
The main thing I am concerned about for Chicago is the durability of Harper. Last season, he missed seven games while struggling with a knee injury. Harper will turn 32 before the 2014-2015 season is over, and I don’t see the Bears looking at him as a long-term solution. If Chicago can get him with on the cheap, I think it would be well worth it.
Mel Tucker has a lot to prove in his second season with the team, and I believe adding a veteran like Harper would make his job easier. Again, the contract would have to be reasonable and Harper would have to prove he is 100 percent healthy prior to signing.
Don’t be shocked if Chicago moves forward in negotiations once the free agency period officially starts in March. They desperately need a safety, and Harper may be their guy.