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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What are the Bears getting with Adrian Wilson?

By now, you all know that the Chicago Bears have signed safety Adrian Wilson to a 1-year deal.  Wilson, in his career with the Cardinals, has boasted a pretty impressive career.  Let's take a look at some of the highlights:

  • 5-time All-Star
  • 3-time All-Pro
  • member of the 25 sack/25 interception club (one of only 6 players in NFL history)
  • Cardinals all-time forced fumbles leader
  • Cardinals all-time passes defended leader
  • Cardinals record holder for longest interception return (99 yards)
  • Most sacks by a defensive back in an NFL season
Given the level of safety play for the Bears last year, this might seem like a godsend signing.  But let's take a closer look.  Wilson had signed a 3 year deal with the New England Patriots before last season.  Prior to the regular season, Wilson tore his Achilles tendon.  Achilles injuries heal, right?

Between 1997 and 2002, there were 31 achilles rupture injuries in the NFL.  Of those, only 21 ever came back to play in the NFL ever again.  The average length of recovery for the injury being 11 months.  Wilson's injury occurred last August, putting the standard recovery for July...just in time for training camp.  However, of the 21 players that made returns from ruptured achilles tendons, none came back to the level prior to injury.  Each player decreased in average numbers of games played per season and decreased in statistical performance.  
Considering the statistics and the fact that Wilson will be turning 35 in October, the odds aren't looking good that Adrian will wind up being a contributor to this revamped defense.  However, with the current safety crop of holdover Chris Conte, rookie Brock Vereen, and free agent newcomers MD Jennings, Danny McCray, and Ryan Mundy, even a 75% Adrian Wilson still has a punchers chance to make the starting roster.

Let's see how this all plays out in July.