Bears' FA watch: Can special teams afford to lose Sherrick McManis?

Here is the 11th in an 18-part series examining the Bears’ unrestricted free agents.

Name: Sherrick McManis

Position: Cornerback

Age: 28

NFL experience: Six years

2015 salary: $825,000

2015 key statistics: 19 tackles and three pass breakups; 17 special teams tackles (team-high)

Probability to return: Moderate

Outlook: McManis is excellent on special teams. A former NFC special teams Player of the Week back in 2012, McManis has 55 special-teams tackles over four seasons in Chicago. The Northwestern University product began the year as the club’s starting nickel back after an especially strong showing in the preseason, but McManis eventually fell behind undrafted rookie Bryce Callahan on the depth chart. Moving forward, McManis will probably only be viewed as a standout special teamer; not as a viable option to contribute much on defense. However, McManis is extremely valuable on special teams, and he’s never been a problem inside the locker room. Unless the Bears are confident they can find younger/cheaper alternatives to cover kicks, the team ought to at the very least consider re-signing McManis to a one-year deal. The Bears made the mistake two years ago of walking away from many of their veteran special teamers -- Eric Weems, Craig Steltz, Blake Costanzo, Zack Bowman, etc. That decisions backfired. Experience matters on special teams. The Bears learned the hard way.