In a move that was most assuredly made to improve their pass rush, the Bears released underperforming defensive end Mark Anderson and signed former New Orleans Saints defensive end Charles Grant. So far, no explanation has been given for the release of Anderson, but the reason is obvious to Bears' fans.
Anderson was a fifth-round pick in 2006 and played very well for the Bears that season, recording 12 sacks and receiving votes for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Since that very productive season, Anderson’s sack totals fell off dramatically and he has had only nine additional sacks since that season. He had none so far this season.
The Bears put a lot of faith in Anderson, so much so that they allowed former Bears Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye go in favor of keeping Anderson. Brown has been a long time player with the team, was popular as well as very good against the run (something that Anderson wasn’t good at) and the Bears may have regretted that decision after seeing how Anderson played so far this season.
Grant was a first round pick for the New Orleans Saints in the 2002 NFL Draft and has had 47 sacks in his career so far. The Saints let him leave this offseason and he signed with Miami but was let go in training camp. He has since been playing minor league with the Omaha Nighthawks in the United Football League.
Grant does come to Chicago with some baggage as he was involved in the StarCaps trouble for a couple years ago. The NFL handed down a four game suspension but has not acted on it yet as they are waiting for final word as to whether or not the suspension will proceed. The decision to suspend Grant could come any time making this a questionable move by the Bears.
The Bears did need to do something about their pass rush, however, which has been virtually a one-man-show with Julius Peppers so far this season. Look for Israel Idonije to get the start this week against the Panthers and then allow Grant to work in from there. He may not start this season but he can provide a strong pass rush option for the Bears opposite Peppers and could help make their defensive line much better.