The Bears signed running back Mike Davis to a two-year, $6 million contract this offseason. That has not gone well, and if General Manager Ryan Pace is smart, he’ll admit his mistake and cut Davis this week.
That’s because, as noted by Nick Korte, the Davis signing is currently preventing the Bears from receiving a 2020 fourth-round compensatory pick. Under the NFL’s complex compensatory pick formula, the Bears would have received a fourth-rounder for losing free agent Adrian Amos. The signing of Davis canceled out the loss of Amos, however — except that if Davis is cut before Week 10, he doesn’t count as a signing for compensatory pick purposes, and the fourth-rounder for Amos would be restored.
Given that Davis has just 11 carries for 25 yards all season, cutting him this week should be a no-brainer.
The Bears need to do whatever they can to collect extra draft picks, because they’re in bad shape in next year’s draft: They traded away both their first-round pick and their third-round pick in the Khalil Mack deal, and they traded their 2020 fourth-round pick to the Patriots on draft day this year. (The Bears do have two second-round picks, their own and the Raiders’, as a result of the Mack trade.)
Meanwhile, the Bears’ decision to sign Davis looked particularly curious on Sunday, when he didn’t get on the field for a single snap on offense (he did play three special teams plays), but Jordan Howard, the running back the Bears traded away over the offseason, had a big game in helping the Eagles beat the Bears. The combination of trading Howard and signing Davis looks like a very bad decision by Pace.
The Bears’ roster was constructed to win this year, with a reckoning coming next year: In addition to all those missing draft picks, the Bears are near the bottom of the league in available salary cap space in 2020. The Bears made a lot of win-now moves, and they’re not winning now. Picking up an extra fourth-round pick is hardly the solution to the Bears’ future problems, but every little bit helps, and they’ll get a little bit of future help if they cut Davis this week.