Ex-Bears Veteran CB Is Retiring From NFL, Coach Confirms

Buster Skrine

Getty Ex-Bears CB Buster Skrine is retiring from the NFL.

Former Chicago Bears cornerback Buster Skrine is retiring from the NFL, Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel confirmed during a July 26 meeting with the media.

Skrine, 33, played in six games for Tennessee last year, which turned out to be his 11th and final season in the league. “I’ve really enjoyed being around him. He’s been a really good addition to our football team,” Vrabel said about Skrine in December of 2021, via the Titans’ official website.

In addition to the Titans and Bears, Skrine also played for the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers.

The veteran cornerback played in 28 games for the Bears during the 2019-20 seasons, starting seven. He amassed 114 total tackles, three forced fumbles, two tackles-for-loss and two quarterback hits during his time in the Windy City.

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Skrine Had Solid NFL Career as Role Player

Over his 11 years in the league, Skrine played in 158 games, starting 95. A fifth-round pick by the Browns in 2011, Skrine played for Cleveland for four years, heading to New York for another four-year stint with the Jets after that.

He landed in Chicago in 2019, where he served as a flexible defensive back for the Bears, spending time at both the right cornerback slot in the team’s erstwhile 3-4 base defense while also playing nickel corner when needed.

“Buster is that guy that when you turn on the tape you know who he is,” ex-Bears defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend said about Skrine in 2020, via Sports Illustrated. “If you want to see the mentality of the secondary, it’s most definitely what Buster brings every week — one guy who you know he’s a pro. Some of those guys that are self-made, guys that had to earn it, and he hasn’t forgot how he got here at the beginning.”

Skrine finished his career playing for two different teams in 2021: the 49ers and the Titans. He tallied 590 total tackles (16 for loss), 11 QB hits, 3.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, 88 PBUs and 10 interceptions over his 11-year NFL career.

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Skrine’s Concussion History Was Extensive

Skrine initially signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract with the Bears ($8.5 million guaranteed), but they released him in a cap-saving move after his second year. Towards the end of his 2020 campaign, Skrine suffered his sixth reported concussion and missed the final four games of Chicago’s regular season.

Some wondered whether he would even play at all in 2021, and he did, although minimally. He re-signed with the Titans in March of 2022, but has since changed his mind about playing.

“A player never really knows how many concussions he’s had, because you’re hitting so much,” Skrine told NJ.com back in 2019 after his fourth documented concussion. “You might have a concussion, and you don’t know, and you just think you’ve got a headache.”

Now, after 11 years and 158 games, Skrine is hanging up his cleats for good.

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