The Bears started the free agency with a huge splash, signing the most sought after DE in the free agency, Julius Peppers to a reported 6 year deal thought to be worth up $72 million with a $25 million signing bonus. He is due to make $40-45 million the first three years.
Peppers is a huge defensive upgrade to the Bears, who hope to bring back the dominate defense they had that brought them to the Super Bowl in 2006. Peppers was brought over to the Bears to rejuvenate a struggling defense who recorded only 35 sacks last season.
The Key to this signing was the Bears' determination. Lovie Smith, himself, flew to Charlotte early Friday morning to meet with Peppers and his agent.
Peppers also did his homework. He keep in contact with players, such as: Brian Urlacher, Mushin Muhammed, Chris Harris, and Dante Wesley, asking them about the organization in Chicago and what they felt about it.
It's hard not to love this signing if your a Bears fan. Peppers is a proven, five-time Pro Bowler, defensive end that is able to get to the quarter back. Getting to the QB also helps the safeties of the Bears. Less time for the QB to throw means less time for the wide receivers to get open.
The Bears also signed former Vikings running back, Chester Taylor, to a 4-year $12.5 million deal with $7 million guaranteed.
"The Bears seem like they have a great opportunity to go to the Super Bowl,"Taylor said on "The Afternoon Saloon" on ESPN 1000. "I want to go to a team that could contend for the Super Bowl.
"Chicago's making all the right moves to try to win a championship, that's another thing I noticed. They want to win here. I want to come in and win. We're making the right moves."
It's not yet known how Taylor will fit in exactly with running back, Matt Forte.
The Bears weren't done just yet. They also signed tight end Brandon Manumaleuna to a five-year deal. Greg Olsen will still see most of the starting time, but the Bears do pick up one of the better blocking tight ends in the league.
It was a monumental first free agency day for the Bears, who have a history to not be as loud when it's free agency time. This year was an exception.
But there is still one looming question. Will the Bears sign a safety?
Bear's linebacker, Lance Briggs, is asking the same thing. Briggs said he loved what the Bears are doing, but he would like to see a safety upgrade.
It's a good suggestion, but I believe the Bears need a offensive line upgrade more than anything. Anyway it's a good start for the Bears and its coaching staff if they want another shot in the playoffs.