Now that some of the dust has settled down with the Jared Allen signing, it is time to turn our attention to what this means to the defense. Allen is 32, and we can't deny his best years are behind him. Over his career he has played 90%+ of the defensive snaps and is a sack machine. Last season, was the first year that Allen's ratings slipped into the negative, regardless of his 11 sacks. Some believe, Jared Allen is in the same place as Peppers. Over worked DE, that can't get the job done any more and teams are paying for the past not the future.
I disagree with that argument when it comes to Allen. Why? The key difference is his passion for the game. That has been the one element missing from the Bears D for the last several seasons, that high energy emotion that can motivate a defense to play well beyond its capabilities. He is a leader, and will bring that to the Bears D and locker room. He brings more intangibles to the team than any other signing. He will help Willie Young become a better pass rusher, will open the doors for the inside to gain better penetration and take some pressure off the safeties. Teams won't be able to double team him with the likes of Houston on the inside or Young coming off the other side.
We know Allen won't play 90% of snaps any more but the looks the Bears front four will give to opposing lines will be dramatic. The DL didn't get any younger, with Idonije, Ratliff and Allen but they got tougher and meaner. Coupled with the young turks, Houston and Young, our defensive line is now one of the best in the league. One last note, with the front offering so many varied looks, this will open the door for McClellin to come off the edge and use his speed to harry QB's.
One other minor note, Ryan Mundy is down in FL working out with Cutler, Marshall, Jeffery and Wilson. I will keep updates coming but the owners meeting ended today. There were some rule changes that I will mention on Friday. Tomorrow over at Bears Goggles On, I will be writing a story on Chris Conte.
Update: During an interview at the Owners Meeting, Trestman made it clear that there would be competition at the Nickel position. Trestman indicated that they want to see Frey improve his play before handing him the position. Hayden is returning from a season ending hamstring injury and at 31 it is unknown how much he has left (my words on Hayden). Trestman said, Frey showed good game skills in practice and in preseason but did not translate that to game day. He feels Frey has great potential but wants Hayden to push him.
It has been announced this morning that Jared Allen has inked a four year deal with the Bears. I will write up details later this morning. This is a surprise and well you got to hand it to Emery, he worked some magic.
Update: It is being reported the deal is for 4 years at $32M, voids at 3 years for $24M and is guaranteed $15.5M. Similar to Ware's deal in Denver.
Here is Marc Trestman on signing Allen,
""We're really excited about adding Jared to our football team," said coach Marc Trestman. "We know what his abilities bring to the table. Jared is certainly a very experienced player in the league. We believe he's going to come in hungry and excited to be part of our football team, and we believe he'll fit right in with the other new players that we've added and the guys that are already on the defensive side of the ball. I know that our defensive coaches are excited as well.""
Update: Apparently the Bears were a last minute player for Jared Allen. He was supposed to take the weekend to think the offers over than decide. The Bears made a late offer that caused Allen to pause, and it appears the $15M guarantee was what got it done. This deal puts Allen between Peppers and Ware. No doubt DE's got paid this Free Agency irrespective of age.
Update: Interesting information on the Allen signing. The Raiders offered $9M but Allen wanted to be on a winning team. One reason for the Bears, is Allen's faith in Cutler winning championships. The deal came together during an off site meeting on Sunday at the owners meeting in Orlando, between the Bears and Allen's agent. Terms were agreed on Tuesday, final today.