The Chicago Bears have officially made the biggest moves in free agency they basically had no choice. They wee forced to add big time players because this could be the last year with this coaching staff and they don’t have a draft pick until the third round.
Julius Peppers is an instant upgrade at DE. Put him on the defensive line with Tommie Harris, Alex Brown and Mark Anderson and this line could be the best since their Super Bowl season. Also consider Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher and others being on the field at the same time, that could be scary.
The reason the Bears landed the top free agent in the class, Julius Peppers was because they were aggressive before free agency started and they were committed when it did start. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the deal is believed to be in the range of a six-year, $72 million contract with $40-45 million in the first three years. That’s a lot of money for a defensive end. People around the league constantly bash the guy for being a good player who doesn’t really give his full effort every game. Peppers has 81 sacks in his NFL career, which began in 2002. That’s the third-most in the NFL during that time, behind only Jason Taylor and Dwight Freeney.
Besides this exciting signing of Peppers, the Bears add a familiar face Chester Taylor. As we all know Taylor was the backup runner for Adrian Peterson in Minnesota for the last couple of years. Taylor was the most versatile back in this class of running backs. Taylor is 30 years old, but his body is very young because he has been a backup every season except one, which took place before Adrian Peterson showed up on the scene in Minnesota. Taylor will provide the Bears with another good runner, a very good receiver out of the backfield and a talented pass blocker. Plus he was a cheap option, they gave a four deal worth about 12 million dollars, they gave him seven million in guarantees. Put Chester Taylor with a healthy Matt Forte and they might be the best one two punch in the league. Taylor’s coming in, might spell the end for Kevin Jones, who is constantly injured.
The addition of Brandon Manumaluna is also very good considering he is arguably the best blocking tight end in the NFL. Manumaluna wasn’t an expensive option, his deal is reported to be five years worth 17 million dollars, six million dollars in guarantees.
Just a thought:
This might be the best off-season the Bears have ever had. Last season the Bears gave up almost everything for Jay Cutler, but they got Johnny Knox in the fifth round, so it wasn’t too bad. Bears fans thought the addition of Cutler would instantly make the Bears a playoff contender they were wrong. Cutler and the offense were in a wrong system with offensive coordinator Ron Turner calling the plays. Now with Mike Martz’s philosophy, which is a pass happy system by the way it suits Cutler and the young receivers they have. Knox, Aromashodu, Bennett, Hester and even Iglesias should get plenty of looks. Hester will be a slot receiver which suits him, he isn’t a number one receiver and he should be the kick returner once again. Now they have some very good tight end protection with Dez Clark and Brandon Manumaleuna and they have excellent backs who are pass catchers out of the backfield Forte and Taylor.
The Bears defense weren’t as bad as they seemed to be last season. There main problem was there lack of pass rush, their injuries and their inexperience in the secondary. Adding Julius Peppers, having Brian Urlacher, Tommie Harris, Charles Tillman, Pisa Tinoisamoa healthy this season will be a huge boost. Maybe they should look at bringing Mike Brown back, he was pretty solid in Kansas City last season.
Stealing a player from the division rival Vikings is a win and having Peppers face Vikings tackle Bryant McKinnie two times a year could be a deciding factor in games.
Are the Bears done signing free agents? They need a safety and some depth on the offensive line. We’ll see. Atleast we know the Bears actually are committed to winning next season, they could be early favorites to win the NFC.