2024 Bears Free Agent Target: Geno Stone
Trevor Ruszkowski - USA Today Sports

2024 Bears Free Agent Target: Geno Stone

by - Correspondent -

Sometimes, it takes a player a few years to develop. That certainly seems to be the case for Baltimore Ravens’ safety Geno Stone. Stone, who only had one interception prior to this season, was second in the league this past season with seven interceptions and was a key part of Baltimore’s dominant defense. Now, he is set to be a free agent for 2024. Should the Bears go after him?

The short answer - yes. Here’s why.

Build Depth

This past season, the lack of depth in the secondary really set Chicago behind early and effectively cost them a chance at the postseason because of the brutal losses they had early in the year. Besides Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker, the Bears do not have any other truly reliable safeties. They are, in fact, the only safeties that had interceptions for Chicago last season and combined, they missed seven games. Stone clearly took a step up this season in being able to track the ball and get interceptions and while the talent around him surely probably helped him out in this regard, Chicago’s defense was also coming on very strong at the end of the season and with the addition of another edge rusher, the Bears have the potential to be one of the best defenses in the league next year.


The best combination for a player from the perspective of the general manager would probably be one with a lot of talent for not a lot of money. When Stone was drafted in 2020, he was a seventh round pick. His total career earnings through four seasons is slightly under $5 million. His most lucrative season was last year when he played on a one-year, $1.76 million contract. With those things in mind, he obviously is not going to be making that kind of salary given what he did in the 2023 season. However, he has not earned a massive contract either because this is one season. Therefore, he would be an easy player to acquire for about $3 or $4 million per year, maybe even $5 million to be safe to ensure he comes to Chicago. Still, this is rather inexpensive for a safety.

Safety Depth in NFL Draft

Looking at multiple mock drafts from PFF, USA Today and CBS Sports, not one of them has a safety going in the first room. Cornerbacks, yes. Safeties, no. The Bears are in need of a safety to increase depth far more than they need a cornerback. They may not be sitting with a second round pick right now, but they could feasibly get a solid safety in the third round as well. Chicago needs more than one safety, however, to truly build depth because there are inevitably injuries and other factors that lead to players needing to step up. Put Stone with a solid rookie and Chicago has a solid rotation of safeties behind Jackson and Brisker so in the event they are both injured, which is surely possible, the Bears still have solid players in the secondary.

Leaves Room to Sign Other Players

Because he is such an inexpensive player to acquire, getting him also leaves room to sign other players they need to, such as cornerback Jaylon Johnson. Johnson is currently set to be a free agent and was just selected to his Pro Bowl. He is a leader in the secondary and someone that Stone could potentially learn from in addition to veteran Eddie Jackson. Building the defense has always been critical for Chicago and adding Stone would definitely be a step in the right direction.

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