It appears that the restructuring of quarterback Jay Cutler’s contract was for a big reason after all. The $4 million that was cleared from Cutler’s contract adjustment allowed the Chicago Bears to sign unrestricted free agent defensive end Jared Allen on Wednesday morning, making one of the biggest splashes in the first two weeks of free agency. It has been reported that Allen’s deal is worth $32 million over the next four years, with $15.5 million guaranteed.
With the addition of the Allen, whose 128.5 career sacks is second among active NFL players, the Bears’ defense instantly becomes one of the best in the league.
Chicago has already bolstered their D-line with the signings of defensive ends Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Israel Idonije, and the re-signings of defensive tackles Nate Collins and Jeremiah Ratliff. Furthermore, the potential selection of a defensive lineman in the 2014 NFL Draft during the first or second round could make this defensive front even stronger.
Allen’s strong play on the right side will allow the Bears to play the versatile Houston at left defensive end, and have Young and Idonije rotate in, keeping fresh legs up front. In addition, the presence of the four-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler will help free up Chicago’s other defensive linemen and linebackers in playing against the run.
The dependable pass rush by Allen will also make the pass coverage easier for Pro Bowl cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, and greatly help the Bears’ safety position, which struggled in 2013.
Allen coming to the Windy City is coming off the heels of the Bears cutting ties with defensive end Julius Peppers and losing defensive tackle Henry Melton to the Dallas Cowboys. The 11-year veteran has had seven consecutive seasons with double-digit sack totals, which shows that he is arguably the most consistent pass rusher in the NFL.
Allen definitely has enough left in the tank, and without a doubt will turn the Bears’ defense completely around.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.