The Chicago Bears are determined to make fans forget the horrible performance the defense exhibited in 2013. The latest move was signing defensive end Jared Allen to a 4-year, $32 million ($15.5 million guaranteed) contract.
At the end of last season, general manager Phil Emery took blame for the defense. He said it was on him for not having enough depth on defense. He said he would work to improve that.
“There was a dramatic drop-off. I have to look at did we have enough depth to win football games? The answer is no, OK? From a personnel perspective and from my perspective, I had not done enough to provide enough depth.
“We have a lot of work to do, and that starts with me on the personnel aspect of it,” he said. “It starts our UFA market; it starts with our draft.”
Well, he sure has been a man of his word. He has hit the free agency market very hard, and the Allen signing is his biggest and hardest hit yet.
Allen has 128.5 career sacks, second among active players. He had 11.5 sacks last season for the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings released Allen earlier this month in a cost-saving move.
Allen adds a premier pass rusher to a defense that sorely needed one. There just wasn’t nearly enough pressure in the backfield by Bears defenders. With the additions of Lamarr Houston, Willie Young, and now Allen, the edge rushing should be dramatically better.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that this move took place in the 24 hours before the actual signing. Allen was thought of going to either the Seattle Seahawks or Dallas Cowboys.
Late Tuesday, Rapoport said that the Cowboys were out on Allen. The Bears came in and made an offer that was more attractive to Allen than the Seahawks’ offer.
Part of the credit for this move also goes to Jay Cutler. The Bears were able to free up $4 million in the salary cap by redoing his contract.
Emery is showing that he is willing to go all in on bringing a title to Chicago. Last offseason he redid the offense and it became the second ranked offense in the league, only behind the record-breaking Denver Broncos.
If the defense also has a dramatic turnaround, this could be a special season.