Despite the 2009 downfall, Chicago looks to be right back in the running after an offseason filled of widespread happiness from signings.
And a few more moments of disappointment .
Even with the signings of former North Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers and the reacquiring of Chris Harris, I'm not fully satisfied.
Did Chicago exceed expectations with these signings? Yeah, of course.
Did I intend that Bears' general manager, Jerry Angelo, would release long-time leaders and consistent defensive ends Adewale Ogunleye and Alex Brown? No way.
Alex Brown, former No. 96 for the Chicago Bears, now representing the 96 for the reigning champion New Orleans Saints, is by no means the flashiest end or a huge pass-rusher like Julius Peppers, but he certainly gets the job more than done and has the ever-dying leadership traits that many younger players weren't born with.
Brown, 31, has never had above 7 sacks a season—but averages around 35+ tackles per year including batted balls, great special teams play, and above all; a locker room influence.
The Florida Gator product is a living example of consistency , the ability to stay healthy , focus , determination , and leadership .
The above words are also embodied in another victim of Jerry Angelo and the Chicago Bears' cheapness: Adewale Ogunleye.
"'Wale" is a seasoned veteran of the gridiron, and more of a sack machine than overall defensive end compared to Brown. The two, in my mind, coupled for a great pair of ends which balanced out.
The reasoning of this is because Alex was more fit as a run-stopping defensive end, while Adewale's job was to just get to the quarterback.
Overall, Adewale Ogunleye and Alex Brown were a great pair of defensive ends and better yet, football players for the Chicago Bears. In my opinion, the reason Ogunleye wasn't tendered to is because Chicago wanted to move on and grab Julius Peppers.
Peppers is an amazing defensive end, no doubt. I have no reason to criticize him. My main focus is that Angelo screwed Chicago over and this could've been dealt with in a better, more clean manner.
Instead of overpaying a top defensive end going into his 30s, why not keep Brown and Ogunleye who are older, yes, but have more chemistry and combine to create a pair in which each has different skill sets?
This would have cost less money in the long and short term, you wouldn't have two defensive ends who are exactly the same except one is older and better, and you could spend money on a secondary that was burned all year in 2009. Or, an ideal situation...
Sign Ogunleye to a two-year deal, move up in the draft to sign a good, young, prospect of a lineman.
Think about it...the Bears line was absolutely horrid last year. Yes, they came together in the final few games of the season, but a young prospect to eventually take the torch from Kreutz or Garza with a few years under his belt sounds great to me.
Then, you draft Major Wright. That pick was amazing, as Wright is a humbled young man who wants to play...but it seems as if the Bears and Lovie are screwing that up already by moving Danieal Manning to strong-side safety and Chris Harris at free safety.
Regardless, this was a good offseason by the Chicago Bears.
But, it could have been a perfect offseason if it had not been for the lack of success from Jerry Angelo and the Bears the past few years, and Chicago didn't resort back to their cheap ways.