Chicago Bears: 5 Biggest Mistakes the Front Office Has Made in 2011

Matt CoanCorrespondent IINovember 9, 2011

Chicago Bears: 5 Biggest Mistakes the Front Office Has Made in 2011

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    Coming off a big win against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football may not be the best time to criticize the Chicago Bears' front office, but I'm going to do it anyway.

    While this Bears team does look pretty solid so far this season, there were a few areas of the team that needed to be addressed that simply were not this offseason and may come back to bite the Bears in the end.

    This list will cover the five biggest mistakes the Chicago Bears' front office has made in 2011.

Signing Brandon Meriweather

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    Shortly after being released by the New England Patriots, the Chicago Bears signed Brandon Meriweather and gave him a shot at competing for a starting safety spot on the defense.

    It seemed like a smart move made by the Bears' front office when the deal broke; Meriweather has been to two Pro Bowls, once in 2009 and once in 2010 and seemed to be a nice fit for the Tampa 2 scheme.

    The move, so far at least, has busted and Meriweather is now backing up Major Wright, a second year player.

    Meriweather played a big role in the weak safety play early in the season and seemed to be making a mistake in every "big play" the Bears defense has given up.

    Meriweather still sees the field a few times a game now but it looks like as long as Chris Conte and Major Wright continue to play well, he will be watching from the sidelines.

Not Adding a Wide Receiver Threat

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    There is no question the Chicago Bears lack wide receiver talent and could have benefited from adding another piece to their receiving core.

    That piece didn't necessarily have to be a super-duper star wide out, just maybe another solid target for Jay Cutler that isn't named Roy Williams.

    A guy like Steve Breaston or Mike Sims-Walker could have done very well for the team and been a big part of the offense. 

    It isn't that the Bears have horrible receivers who can't do anything, it's just adding another piece would have helped Jay Cutler, the other wide receivers and the team as a whole.

    With that said, Earl Bennett returning to the lineup after battling injury problems all season could act as a midseason pick up that gives the passing game a nice boost overall.

Trading Greg Olsen

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    Trading Greg Olsen didn't exactly help with the offense lacking weapons problem either.

    Yes, it's true: Olsen didn't fit into the Mike Martz offense well. It's also true that the offense needs to have quality blocking tight ends in the game to help a lacking offensive line with pass blocking.

    But still, Olsen was Jay Cutler's favorite target and moving Olsen and only getting a third round pick in return wasn't a great move.

    Olsen was a good red zone target, something the Chicago Bears have needed this season. And he was a player who was tough to match up against, a player that defenses actually had to plan to stop.

    His departure hurt our wide receivers and in theory hurt the run game, even if it has been better this season so far.

    Trading Olsen might not have been a mistake, but it wasn't exactly a good move either.

Not Paying Matt Forte

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    Matt Forte is having a break out year for the Chicago Bears and is probably their MVP so far.

    Forte has wanted a new deal, as everyone knows, for awhile now and the Bears refusing to extend him is a mistake.

    Forte is dominating the league and is such a huge part of the Bears' offense. He is still playing on his rookie contract and deserves more.

    Does it make sense to pay him right now? No.

    Running backs are so hit or miss, it would be the smartest move to just franchise tag him and see if he can continue his dominance on one year deals.

    But that doesn't matter.

    There are some guys you just need to take care of, out of respect. You have to show the your team and the rest of the league that you are willing to pay guys who earn it.

    As a front office, you are willing to pony up cash for players who play with heart and determination and sacrifice everything to help the team win.

    Forte is one of those guys.

    Pay the man.

Not Upgrading the Offensive Line

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    This is the easy, go too criticism for Jerry Angelo and the rest of the Chicago Bears' front office this season.

    The line has improved since Week 1, there is not question about that, but they still aren't very good and could have use more significant upgrades across the board.

    There may not have been a ton of great options for the team to look at but they needed to upgrade in that area and they did not.

    The Bears made it quite far last season with the same sub-par unit, and I can only hope they will do it again.