So far this offseason, the Chicago Bears have virtually devoted all of their time to bolstering the defensive side of the ball with numerous free-agent signings. This past Sunday, the Bears decided to focus on their offense and signed former New Orleans Saints center Brian De Le Puente to a one-year deal.
Chicago’s offensive line showed significant improvement in 2013 and was fortunate enough to avoid serious injuries. In the event that the Bears’ current starting center Roberto Garza goes down, De La Puente will be a perfect stand-in for the offense.
De La Puente was a journeyman in the NFL before becoming a starter for the Saints in 2011. Since then he has started 44 games in New Orleans. The six-year veteran also played under Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer for two seasons, who was the Saints’ offensive line coach.
This signing may not have equaled the attention that was brought by defensive end Jared Allen, but looking in the long run, this could benefit Chicago’s O-line for a number of years. Garza, who re-signed with the Bears for one year, will be entering his 14th season in the league and is nearing the end of his career. De La Puente, who is 28 years old, has the youth and experience to take over the starting center position for years to come, which could make Garza expendable in 2015.
Whether if it is Garza or De La Puente snapping the ball to quarterback Jay Cutler, the Bears’ offensive front should be in great position to build on last season’s success.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.