According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Chicago Bears have signed cornerback Tre Roberson of the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders.
Calgary CB Tre Roberson, thought to be the top CFL free agent this year, will sign with the Chicago Bears, per a league source. Roberson chose the Bears over nine other offers. Bears are expected to give Roberson the largest CFL-to-NFL compensation since Miami signed Cameron Wake
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 29, 2020
Schefter also reports that Roberson chose the Bears over nine other offers and that Chicago will give him the largest CFL-to-NFL contract since the Miami Dolphins signed Cameron Wake. Wake’s deal came with a $1 million signing bonus and could have reached $4.9 million in value.
So, who exactly is Tre Roberson?
Roberson was a three-star prospect coming out of high school and eventually committed to Indiana University. Indiana recruited Roberson as a quarterback. He transferred to Illinois State to finish out his college career, still playing quarterback.
Roberson eventually shifted to corner and while he went undrafted, he received a tryout with the Minnesota Vikings following the 2016 NFL Draft. Roberson impressed during the preseason, but was released at final cuts. From there, he went through multiple signings and releases with the Vikings, never appearing in a regular season NFL game.
In May of 2018, Roberson signed with the Calgary Stampeders. From there, his career as a cornerback took off.
Roberson played 32 games in the CFL, all with Calgary. In that time, he amassed 95 tackles and two forced fumbles. The newest Chicago Bear also picked off 10 passes, bringing two interceptions in for scores. Seven of his 10 interceptions and both of his defensive touchdowns came during the 2019 season.
Roberson won the CFL’s equivalent of the Super Bowl, the Grey Cup, in 2018. He was also named an All-Star this past season.
Prior to his signing with Chicago, Pro Football Talk reported that Roberson would work out for 14 teams. Furthermore, the site wrote that he had “as much momentum as any CFL player in recent memory.”
Calgary’s defensive back’s coach Joshua Bell had nothing but praise for Roberson after he won team’s Most Outstanding Rookie award following the 2018 season.
“He’s a very cerebral player. But he has the physical attributes to go with it. He soaks up everything, when you tell him something you can tell that he’s receiving everything you’re saying, processing it.
“First thing that I identified and loved is that he wasn’t afraid of the waggle. I loved that, because the speed is the first thing guys from the south have to adjust to. He wasn’t afraid, and I was like, ‘Yeah, you’re aggressive,’ I fell in love with it.”
Clearly, the Bears also fell in love with Roberson’s transition to cornerback. After showing improvements during his two years in the CFL, he will now look to make a name from himself in the NFL.
In Chicago, the Bears have one cornerback slot locked in with Kyle Fuller. Fuller is under team control through 2023 and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The team also has Prince Amukamara under contract, but releasing him this offseason would leave the Bears with just $1 million in dead cap space.
How Roberson will translate to the NFL is yet to be seen. He has clearly impressed the Chicago Bears and is one of the most hyped up CFL prospects in recent years.
With Roberson picking Chicago over nine other teams and the Bears giving him the largest contract for a CFL prospect since Wake, both player and team are hoping this is a match made in heaven.