CHICAGO -- A look at the Chicago Bears players who were “up” and those who were “down” in the 2015 season.
Jay Cutler: Cutler made significant strides in 2015. He drastically reduced the amount of turnovers he committed, going from 18 interceptions to 11. Cutler also finished with a career-best 92.3 quarterback rating. Cutler turns 33 years old in April, but if he continues to value the football moving forward, Cutler will play in the NFL for many years to come. The trick is for Cutler to enjoy this kind of success next year if/when offensive coordinator Adam Gase leaves for a head coaching opportunity.
Jeremy Langford: The Bears stole Langford in the fourth round out of Michigan State. Langford is similar to Matt Forte in terms of versatility, but Langford is more explosive in the open field. The tailback became just the third rookie in NFL history with at least 70 rushing yards, a touchdown run, 100 receiving yards and a touchdown catch in the same game when he accomplished the feat in St. Louis. The arrow is definitely pointing up. Langford is expected to be the Bears’ featured back in 2016.
Zach Miller: A toe injury sidelined Miller in Week 17, but the tight end enjoyed a career year with 34 receptions for 439 yards and five touchdowns. Miller had a streak of four touchdowns in four games in the month of November. Miller is 30 years old, but he’s only appeared in 48 NFL games. If Miller stays healthy in 2016, he could have a large role on offense.
Adrian Amos: Amos started all 16 games at free safety. Not bad for a rookie fifth-round draft choice. A converted cornerback at Penn State, Amos proved to be a physical tackler at the NFL level. He rarely committed mental mistakes. Now, Amos has to intercept the football next year, but he has a solid foundation underneath him.
Martellus Bennett: One year after catching 90 passes and playing in the Pro Bowl, Bennett appeared in just 11 games before landing on injured reserve with a rib injury. Before the injury, Bennett made it known he was unhappy with his role in offense. The 6-foot-6 tight end finished 2015 with 53 receptions for 439 yards and three touchdowns. Bennett is under contract next season, but he may be better off playing somewhere else in 2016. Bennett wants a new contract. The Bears have no desire to offer him one.
Antrel Rolle: Rolle had been incredibly durable in Arizona and New York, but he broke down in 2015. The veteran safety played in just seven games before going on injured reserve on Dec. 14 with a knee injury he sustained at practice. Rolle ended the year with zero interceptions and zero forced fumbles. He is a question mark for next season.
Eddie Royal: The Bears signed Royal to a three-year, $15 million deal with $10 million guaranteed. His base salary of $4.5 million in 2016 is fully guaranteed. As of now, the Bears have not received a bang for their buck. Royal had just 37 catches for 238 yards and one touchdown. That obviously has to improve in 2016.