A power move has been made by the Chicago Bears today in the form of one of the best pass rushers in the NFL for the last decade. The Bears signed free agent DE Jared Allen to a reported four-year contract worth $32 million, including $15.5 million guaranteed.
The move came out of left field after Allen had visited the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks in free agency. In his second visit with the Seahawks, Allen left Seattle with no contract agreement, leaving the door wide open for the Bears to swoop in and scoop the prolific pass rusher.
With the Bears’ latest addition, Chicago ultimately upgraded at a position in need of talent after Julius Peppers was released and signed with the Green Bay Packers. Allen has 128.5 career sacks, 12th-most in NFL history, and has seven consecutive double-digit sack seasons, including 11.5 last season with the Minnesota Vikings. Allen needs just 4.5 sacks to move into sole possession of 10th place on the all-time list.
The Bears have been busy in free agency, bolstering a defense that was one of the NFL’s worst last season. In addition to adding Allen, the Bears have added Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Israel Idonije to create a potent pass rushing rotation from the edge. The Bears also re-signed D.J. Williams to continue to play middle LB, and also retained CBs Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman, which a couple seasons ago proved to be a deadly CB tandem.
The Bears also signed a trio of safeties in Ryan Mundy, M.D. Jennings and Danny McCray in free agency. However, now with a solid DL crew and a potentially good LB crew that still features Pro Bowl LB Lance Briggs, look for the Bears to add another safety in the first round of the NFL Draft — either Ha Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor to play opposite Mundy in the secondary.
In just two seasons in Chicago, GM Phil Emery has made the offense into one of the league’s best and is potentially making the defense into one of the league’s best also. The Seahawks set the standard last season on how to win a Super Bowl, and that’s with a prolific defense to go with a very good offense.
Well, with the Bears’ newest acquisitions, Chicago is loading up on talent on the defensive side of the ball and already has one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL. The Bears are bringing a lot of excitement back to the city of Chicago and with excitement comes expectations. As long as the Bears can live up to those expectations, it will not be crazy to believe that the Bears can bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Chicago in 2014.