Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jared Allen signs with Bears! Brings Passion to the D


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.

21 comments:

  1. Just heard this myself!!!! I said last night Emery had something cooking due to the restructure.....just couldn't smell it. Wow!!!!

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    1. You were right Ben, you said you felt he had something coming. So that should be it on the UFA. Now we focus on the draft,

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    2. Exactly, Ben. There was no reason to declare the deferral of Cutler's cap dollars at this point unless a signing was imminent. But I sure didn't smell Allen as the target.

      Curious on how the deal is structured. The Bears may need to rearrange a little more money to make room for the draft class.

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    3. Same here! I was leaning clemons with you guys. Heck, every other sporting site had Allen going to Seattle.....All but the ink on the paper. I was kinda blindsided this morning. Lol

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  2. Exactly! Draft all the way. This probably also means we'll see Houston move inside from time to time.

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    1. No doubt Houston will be kicked to the inside from time to time. The analyst are already saying Bears draft CB/S in round one.It also opens the door to trading down as I wrote yesterday at Bears Goggles On. Emery is sitting in a great place at 14.

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    2. I would tend to agree now with this signing. One of my coworkers is a diehard as well, and I was discussing this with him this morning and thought S/CB best available at the time. Ya know, Emery told us a week or so ago that in the next couple of weeks it will be pretty definitive as to how their draft will look. I think at this point he's earned the right to take him at his word. Remember at seasons end when he said they'd look at "everything" on defense? Well, I'll admit at the time it sounded like the standard reply a GM would give.
      I'm anxious for Sept!!!!

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    3. We are still getting to know Phil Emery, and while no GM is bullet proof, he is one shrewd operator. With the Allen signing, I still think he is in a better position to trade down, but you never know what he will do. I would think most Bear fans have to be breathing easier with regards to defense.

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  3. I woke up to the phone pinging with the headline noting the Allen signing and then dozed back off for a bit. I recollect a foggy vision of the Bears D stacking a 5-man line when playing with second half leads - left to right Young-Houston-Ratliff-Donald-Allen. OK - not a likely combo, but I would hate to be on any O-line figuring how to block that group.

    So I still lean towards Donald or Nix - if we stay at 14. With either, we have solid 3 man rotations at both DE & DT – with Izzy being a 4th at both. What I do sense as a revised draft strategy is more offense in the back side - perhaps ALL offense on day 3. While there are still some front line holes on D, the lack of offensive depth (RB, slot, TE & C) potentially could be handled through the draft.

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    1. Well Chuck, the pundits are already adjusting their mock drafts and having the Bears drafting a DB/S at 14. I have always leaned to that strategy of getting a DB in the first round. There are several good DT that will be there in the second round. The one thing is that Emery is unpredictable, so taking Donald is still possible. Agreed back half of the draft will be O, and several O players will be brought in under the CFA.

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  4. I just figured out why they didn't sign melton after all. Allen has #69 and they didnt want a disagreement. Bahahaha. J/k

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  5. I had a feeling Emery was getting ready to make a splash after having Cutler restructure, but didn't see this coming. Kinda shocked that we let go an aging DE to pick up another. Allen has been SOLID for years and gives us an edge rusher. I really like what Emery has done this off season. We had gaping holes and every hole has been filled in FA. We still need depth and the draft will add that. I will say this forever, our S will be fine IF we get our front 7 right and I think we did.

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    1. They fooled me too. Was convinced they were just doing some cap housecleaning. I don't see this as a switch of older players. Pepper is 34 and Allen is 32, and for me those two years make a difference. Also, Allen is high energy and a good leader, which Peppers was not. There are depth issues for sure, OL and CB. They can fill CB in the draft but more concerned about OL. Like to see them sign one or two guys there. Eben Britton would be good.

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    2. Agree. We need RB, QB, & DT as well. I don't feel like we need a starter from day 1. I would love a trade back for a couple of picks, unless we can get Denard or Gilbert (like them both at CB). Donald or Jernigan would be a nice DT. I am not big in Ha-Ha, but like Pryor (possibly early 2nd round).

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    3. Hey John, you put up a graphic after the Bears signed Young from pro football focus comparing run grade, hurries and batted passes of the 2 ends we signed vs. Our DEs last year. The comparisons were astounding IMO for overall disruptions. Just wondering where Allen falls in that list. The sacks are nice and I know he has a motor and is very disruptive, but numbers to compare would be nice. ;) maybe something for ya on that new gig.

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    4. Allen had 689 pass rushing snaps 13 sacks, 18 hits and 34 hurries for 65 total pressures. His totals are comparable to Young and Houston's, When ranking Total Pressures, Allen was 9th, Houston 12th and Young 15th.

      Peppers had 40, McClellin 33 and Wooten 8. Here is an interesting stat. Bass played almost the same DE snaps as Wooten and had 15 total pressures.

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  6. Now on to the draft! I think if Donald is available at 14 you can't pass him up. And I know this will make me sound like an insufferable broken record, but I think drafting Shazier from Ohio State and moving him to safety would be a great move. He is super fast and would provide a sure tackler, a skill Conte apparently skipped learning.

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    1. If Emery took Donald at 14, no one would complain. It is a good choice and the Bears are one DT shy of a load. However, our starting CB's (3) are over 30, and I think we can agree this will be Tillmans last season. With no depth at CB the Bears need to grab one, and while the depth is there the talent drops off after the first three (Gilbert/Dennard/Fuller). There are other DT's to be had in the second round and Shazier would be an interesting option, but not sure if Emery can afford to reach in the first 3 rounds, and Shazier will be gone by then. I will be writing about Conte over at Bears Goggles On later today. In fairness to Conte, he did well in tackle efficiency on pass plays, but on runs he had a tough season. Then again I could argue that if your FS is the one doing most of the tackles on running plays your D is in for a world of hurt.

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  7. I would agree, but watching Fencik be a sure tackler for years suggests it CAN be done. If I watch another draft prospect's films (Borland from Wisconsin), HE tackles like they never will get away--like Fencik, around the ankles.

    I am not yet sold on Nix as he seems to be a big boy with potential chronic knee problems--not a good combo. Donald seems like a steal at 14 yet still possibly available at 14. As for corners in the draft, I would prefer to see the Bears get one via UFA next year---a seasoned pro with some film behind them proving their overage ability in the NFL. Short of Deion Sanders, I don't remember a corner coming in and setting the league on fire his first year he gets to play full time, which next year would be for the Bears when Tillman leaves. These Bears are built to contend NOW--no time to wait for development at critical positions.

    Just my 2 cents...

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  8. Tom, you make a good argument about looking for a seasoned CB next year in the UFA. I checked and there are several young ones. The only issue is that you have no guarantee you will get one of them. So you draft a Fuller now, tutors under Tillman and then second year he takes over.

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