Barkevious Mingo Signing Bolsters Depth, Special Teams

Gene Chamberlain

One of the areas hit hardest for the Bears during free agency has been special teams, particularly coverage units for punts and kickoffs. 

The most recent moves they've made have gone a long way toward correcting this, including Sunday night's agreement to sign Texans free agent linebacker Barkevious Mingo to a one-year contract at $1.2 million, as per an Ian Rapoport report for NFL Network.

The Bears lost key backup free agents who played huge roles on special teams in recent years like Nick Kwiatkoski, Kevin Pierre-Louis and Nick Williams. They haven't resigned longtime special teams ace Sherrick McManis, either.  

It wasn't like the Bears excelled in these areas already. They were 26th in covering kickoffs at 25.0 yards per return and 16th in punt coverage at 7.1 yards a return. 

So a player like Mingo, who has extensive special teams experience, can be valuable in helping turn their fortunes.  

Mingo has been a starter in two of his seven seasons. The Bears are his sixth team. He is a 6-foot-5, 235-pound outside linebacker who has done a little bit of everything, much like Pierre-Louis had. 

He has been both an edge in the 3-4 and an outside linebacker in a 4-3 so it sounds like he would be a player who could fill in at any number of positions, even inside linebacker if required, much like Detroit's Christian Jones did when he was with the Bears.

In the last two seasons the Bears had Aaron Lynch as an edge backup but he's a different type of player totally since he is more like a 4-3 defensive end at 280 pounds. But Mingo's versatility could let the Bears try him there along with Isaiah Irving, their reserve outside linebacker who was signed back last weekend. 

Mingo has never played anywhere close to his original draft status with just 10 career sacks and 38 starts. He was the sixth pick of the 2013 draft by the Browns. He has been on Chuck Pagano's Colts team in 2017 and was a part of Chris Tabor's special teams in Cleveland, his original team. 

Last year Mingo played for Houston in a 3-4 as a backup edge linebacker and in 2018 for Seattle he was a 4-3 outside linebacker.  

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

 

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Gene Chamberlain