According to one ESPN writer, the Bears' signing of free-agent safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix ranks as one of the NFL's best offseason moves.
The transaction earned just one of four "A" grades from Bill Barnwell among 86 free-agent signings and trades. After Clinton-Dix spent his first four NFL seasons with the Packers (2015-18) and Redskins (2018), he signed a one-year contract with the Bears.
"I suspect Clinton-Dix could have found a multiyear deal on the market if he really wanted one, but when he saw what guys like Landon Collins and Tyrann Mathieu were getting in free agency, you might imagine the idea of putting a better year on tape before heading back into free agency in 2020 would be appealing," Barnwell wrote.
"It's difficult to think of a better landing spot than Chicago, where the Bears will be able to surround him with one of the best defenses in football. New defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano and Clinton-Dix could take the blame if an otherwise-returning Bears defense declines in 2019 when the real causes are more likely to be regression toward the mean in terms of takeaway rates and health, but that's no reason not to make this signing. The Bears might still want to draft a safety to play in 2020, since they won't likely have the space to re-sign Clinton-Dix if he returns to form, but this is about as team-friendly of a deal as you'll see for a young player with Pro Bowl upside."
Clinton-Dix, 26, has appeared in 80 games with 74 starts in five NFL seasons with the Packers (2014-18) and Redskins (2018). He has recorded 438 tackles, 28 pass breakups, 14 interceptions, 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, eight tackles-for-loss and eight quarterback hits. He has three additional interceptions in seven postseason contests.
Clinton-Dix was selected by the Packers with the 21st pick in the first round of the 2014 draft out of Alabama. He remained with Green Bay until he was traded to the Redskins last Oct. 30 in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick.
Clinton-Dix has never missed a game during his five NFL seasons and has made 74 straight starts since joining the Packers' No. 1 defense in Week 7 of his rookie year. His best season came in 2016 when he was voted to the Pro Bowl after registering a career-high five interceptions.