Chicago Bears fans everywhere rejoice! General manager Phil Emery continues to make moves that will benefit the Bears greatly next season. Today, the Bears reached an agreement with free agent guard Matt Slauson, formerly of the New York Jets.
Slauson will more than likely fill the void at right guard left by Lance Louis who left for the Miami Dolphins. Along with free agent signing Jermon Bushrod, Chicago has made some phenomenal moves this off season to improve their offensive line, which performed poorly last year.
After being drafted by the Jets in 2009, Slauson has started 48 of his last 51 games. Last season, Slauson did not give up a single sack. Did you catch that Bears fans? Not a SINGLE sack was given up by Slauson last year. As miserable as the quarterback play was in New York, Slauson was one of the highlights.
Chicago got themselves a player, that hopefully after his one year contract is up, will stick around on a long-term deal. Slauson will join an offensive line that tentatively includes starters J’Marcus Webb at right tackle, Roberto Garza at center, Gabe Carimi who may compete for either guard spot, and new starter Bushrod at left tackle. The Bears also brought back a solid player in tackle Jonathan Scott who performed well off the bench last year due to injuries in the starting group.
“We are excited that Matt will be a Bear. He brings physical play and smarts to the offensive guard position, and to the offensive line as an overall unit,” Emery said. “His size, strength, and power will allow him to challenge for either of the starting guard positions.”
As I have written in previous articles, few will be more excited over a move like this than quarterback Jay Cutler. In his first three seasons with Chicago, Cutler has been bruised and battered more than any other quarterback it seems. He continues to show toughness, but I am sure he would prefer taking less hits and being able to play an entire season at full strength.
Matt Forte will be another beneficiary of the signing, as they look to open up larger holes within the tackles. Forte has done most of his damage running the ball on the outside, but with larger holes opened up by Slauson and company on the interior, Forte will get a chance to make his way up the middle more often.
Kudos to the Chicago Bears staff. It has been a tumultuous off season to say the least. Parting ways with tenured coaches and players is never easy, but Emery has said from the beginning that he has a plan. Slauson was on the Bears’ radar from the beginning, and it appears he was just another part of Emery’s master plan to compete for a Super Bowl in 2013.