As the Chicago Bears get closer to the start of the 2021 regular season, one name that’s been a serviceable depth piece since entering the NFL in 2016 has been safety Deon Bush. A key contributor on special teams, Bush has been the Bears’ primary backup option behind names like Eddie Jackson, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Adrian Amos, and Tashaun Gipson.
Entering year six, Bush has yet to push for a starting role, meaning another year of being a rotational player and key special teamer is on the way, unless either Jackson or Gipson get injured. Chicago also features backup options such DeAndre Houston-Carson, Marqui Christian, and Jordan Lucas, making the competition at safety more intriguing.
Let’s get into whether or not Bush is actually a roster bubble candidate with training camp right around the corner.
The case for keeping Bush
Consistency is the biggest word that comes to mind when evaluating Bush over the last few years. With 65 games played since 2016, Bush has started just eight but he does give the Bears a solid veteran presence to rely on throughout games, especially when the defense wants to use more nickel or dime packages on defense.
Depth at defensive back is especially important for the Bears in 2021, considering the team moved on from cornerback Kyle Fuller this offseason, meaning veterans like Bush will be valuable, especially since Bush is one of many players who’ve been with the team with defensive coordinator Sean Desai set to takeover.
The case for cutting Bush
Competition has become a staple for the Bears under head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace over the last few years and in the NFL, nothing is ever guaranteed. Much like Lucas, Christian, and Houston-Carson, Bush will need to fight for a roster spot.
Under Desai, if Bush doesn’t showcase the ability to be an asset in coverage, Chicago could move on from him this offseason, making way for a more experienced player to takeover as depth behind Gipson and Jackson.
What should the Bears do with Bush?
We mentioned earlier how Bush’s main contributions have come on special teams since he entered the league. Despite starting just eight games since 2016, expect Bush to be back in 2021, giving Chicago a stable depth piece on both defense and special teams.
Under Pace and Nagy, veterans who provide a stable presence as rotational players are valuable, as Chicago knows exactly what each veteran brings to the table. With Bush being one of the few remaining pieces left from the Bears 2016 draft class, he’ll enter year six in Chicago as another valuable depth piece.