The Chicago Bears made a significant upgrade to their defensive end position on Wednesday when they agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with Jared Allen. Chicago, who was dead last in the NFL in sacks in 2013, now has the consistent pass rusher who can greatly improve a defense that didn’t live up to expectations last season.
Allen will obviously replace the recently departed Julius Peppers, who was released by the Bears and signed with the Green Bay Packers. Allen will join newly-signed defensive ends Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Israel Idonije, along with re-signed defensive tackles Nate Collins and Jeremiah Ratliff along Chicago’s defensive front.
The addition of Allen will definitely bring some comparisons to Peppers’ four years in the Windy City among Bears fans. If you ask me, I think that Allen will be much more productive in Chicago than Peppers was.
During the four seasons Peppers spent with the Bears, he amassed 37.5 sacks and 175 tackles. No one can frown upon those numbers, but what Allen did over that span was much better. Allen had 19 more sacks and 48 more tackles. However, Allen’s 56.5 sacks from 2010-13 is what jumps out the most. And all of these statistics were tallied while both Allen and Peppers started all 16 games of each of those seasons for their respective teams.
Allen’s numbers undoubtedly show that he is the more consistent of the two. But the one thing that will make Allen’s stay in Chicago more productive than Peppers’ is his familiarity with the NFC North. Allen, who was previously with the Minnesota Vikings, played the last six years in the division and won’t miss a beat when facing the Vikings, Packers and the Detroit Lions. Peppers didn’t have that luxury after playing the first eight years of his career with the Carolina Panthers in the NFC South.
Durability and consistency are the keys to being successful in the NFL, and Allen brings both of those factors to the Bears’ defense. That is why his stay in Chicago will outshine the four years Peppers had in a Bears uniform. More importantly, what Allen will contribute will bring dominance back to the Monsters of the Midway.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.