If you want to talk about stealing the show as a non-playoff team during the first week of the NFL Playoffs, well, that’s exactly what the Chicago Bears have done as of Thursday morning. General manager Phil Emery called a press conference early Thursday to announce some big news and, get ready for it, this news was huge.
The biggest piece of information was that the Bears had re-signed quarterback Jay Cutler to a whopping 7-year contract. Secondly, however, Chicago took care of business with two more of their important free-agents-to-be.
Bears also signed Tim Jennings and Matt Slauson to 4-year contracts.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) January 2, 2014
The Bears re-signing cornerback Tim Jennings and guard Matt Slauson are highly understated moves in light of the Cutler deal. Jennings has been the best player in the secondary next to Charles Tillman — when both are healthy — and is coming off his second straight solid season for Chicago. In 2012, Jennings led the team with nine interceptions. This past year, he totaled four picks, two of which were returned for touchdowns, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and 13 passes defensed.
Slauson, on the other hand, came into 2013 on a 1-year deal with the Bears after having not given up a single sack his previous season with the New York Jets. He proved to be one of the best linemen on the team in 2013 and consistently helped a much-improved pass protection in Chicago.
Both signings will become invaluable to the Bears as they continue to try and, first of all, revamp that defense and, second of all, give Cutler a consistently solidified line of protection. Looking ahead to 2014, the Bears have already made huge moves in order to improve their positioning going forward. Jennings and Slauson were excellent decisions, and hopefully, two of many more excellent decisions to come.