Bears Urged to Add Former Packers Defender Before Week 1

Kevin King

Getty Images Kevin King, formerly of the Green Bay Packers.

Cornerback Kevin King was a second-round selection for the Green Bay Packers in the 2017 NFL draft, getting taken 33rd overall out of the University of Washington.

King spent the last five years with the Packers, and after failing to make an impact over his first several seasons, fell behind the likes of Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, Chandon Sullivan and Rasul Douglas on the depth chart. Green Bay chose not to re-sign him, and the 27-year-old corner remains a free agent.

One analyst thinks King would be a solid depth addition for the Chicago Bears‘ secondary. Third-year starter Jaylon Johnson and rookie Kyler Gordon are the obvious top two corners on the roster, and with Gordon presumably set to spend significant time in the slot, that means unproven 2020 fifth-rounder Kindle Vildor will likely get the nod to start on the outside opposite Johnson.

Behind those three, the Bears’ depth at corner consists of Lamar Jackson, undrafted rookie Jaylon Jones and recent waiver wire pick up Josh Blackwell. Should the Bears ink King to a cheap one-year deal to add some veteran experience to the group?

Analyst: King Would Be ‘Valuable Addition’ to Bears’ Secondary

Jake Rill of Bleacher Report made a pitch for the Bears to add King prior to the start of the regular season in his September 5 column.

“It can never hurt to have a lot of depth in the secondary, and while Chicago has some solid players like Jaylon Jones and Kindle Vildor, it could benefit from adding one more,” Rill wrote. “That’s why the Bears should consider signing a corner such as Kevin King.”

While it’s unlikely King would see the field for Chicago’s Week 1 contest against the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field, Rill still thinks his experience could help a young Chicago secondary.

“The 27-year-old King has seven interceptions in 51 career games (all of which came with the Green Bay Packers), although five of those picks came in 2019,” Rill added. “He’s struggled to stay healthy the past two years, but if he can remain on the field, he’s a valuable addition to a secondary. If Chicago brought in King, it would take a solid secondary and likely turn it into one of the team’s biggest strengths.”

King Had One of His Best Statistical Seasons in 2021, Per PFF

After a shaky opening game against the New Orleans Saints in which he allowed two receptions on two targets for 72 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown to wide receiver Deonte Harris, King lost favor and had a difficult time getting it back. The veteran corner also dealt with hip and knee injuries last year, but despite his issues, he still received a career-best grade from Pro Football Focus.

In 303 total snaps played in 2021, King earned a 70.6 overall grade and a 68.1 coverage grade from PFF, both career highs. He finished with 29 total tackles, a QB hit, three pass breakups and an interception playing 48% of the team’s defensive snaps.

While King would surely come cheap, the Bears likely want to get a good look at the young players they currently have, particularly Vildor, Jones and Blackwell, who have all shown flashes of potential this offseason. If injury or to strike the team’s CBs room, though, King might not be a bad call to make.

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