The Bears had the best depth at linebacker in the NFL with Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, Pisa Tinoisamoa, Hunter Hillenmeyer, Nick Roach, Jamar Williams and Tim Shaw, but not anymore. Jamar Williams was traded yesterday to Carolina for SS Chris Harris, who will be back for his second stint in the windy city.
The Bears still have backups in Hillenmeyer and Roach behind Briggs, Urlacher and Tinoisamoa, but they had to shed some salaries because the three linebackers behind them were making more than the average backup would. Jamar Williams was the guy the Bears thought was disposable.
Jamar Williams almost became a starter in 2007, when it was reported the Bears were going to trade Lance Briggs to Washington and Briggs was adamant that he would never play in Chicago again. That never happened and Williams spent four seasons in Chicago where he played in 51 games, starting three games.
Jamar Williams and Nick Roach were the promising young linebackers who were considered to be solid replacements for the crafty veterans. I mean who knows how many more seasons Brian Urlacher has left and Lance Briggs isn’t get any younger.
On the other hand, I’m pumped that Chris Harris is back in the orange and blue, but some reports say the Panthers were ready to cut the starting safety. So, for the Panthers to get the versatile Williams in return is a pretty good deal for them. Williams is expected to be in the mix at weakside and middle linebacker positions in Carolina.
Williams had this to say after the trade was official:
“You know I’m looking forward to it,” Williams, who was traded to the Panthers for Chris Harris, told the Tribune Tuesday. “When you’re on a team and you never really get a chance to show what you can do, then you go somewhere else, you always want to show your former employer what you can do.”
“And as for Chicago, it was a great place for me to start my career. I was able to learn from Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, two Hall-of-Fame linebackers. It was a lot of fun. But it was time for me to get on the field, and it was just hard for me to get on the field in Chicago. I’m just happy the Bears were able to get something done so both parties were happy.”
We never really saw what Jamar Williams really could have been. He showed flashes last year in his 19 tackle game against St. Louis, but he was really nothing more than a special teams player here in Chicago.
Good luck to you Jamar I hope to see you succeed in Carolina, but I just hope we didn’t trade a possible replacement for our aging veterans. October 10th we will see what you are as a starter in Carolina.
all quotes from www.chicagotribune.com