Linebacker Brian Urlacher was a total defensive beast for the Chicago Bears for twelve seasons. No wonder his departure after the 2012 season resulted in one of the NFL's worst defensive squads in 2014, ranking a dismal 30th in total defense. Chicago finished a mediocre 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years. Now, the Bears are making a splash in the free agency market.
After losing Julius Peppers to the Packers, it was clear the Bears needed a stud defensive specialist to lead the team. Looks like Chicago found their man. They signed veteran defensive end Jared Allen, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings, to a four-year contract worth $32 million on Wednesday morning. The first two years of his contract and bonus are guaranteed. In turn, Allen will receive at least $15.5 million. The six-year player has been to the Pro Bowl four times and ranks 12th in the NFL (2nd among active players) with a total of 128.5 career sacks.
Adding Jared Allen to replace Julius Peppers is a HUGE upgrade for the Chicago Bears. pic.twitter.com/Y7w2XKeVG3
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) March 26, 2014
Allen reached out to his former teammates, coaches, and the fans of Minnesota in a statement, "I can only hope that I have left with you all, with even a fraction of the positive support and impact you have had on my life, my foundation and my family. I am very excited about this next chapter in my career with the Chicago Bears and can't wait to see what the future holds for us.''
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) March 26, 2014
— Adam Rank (@adamrank) March 26, 2014
In addition to Allen, the Bears also signed Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Israel Idonije in hopes of shoring up their defense moving forward.
Image via Wikimedia Commons