Phil Emery seems to waving his magic wand again this offseason so far. It’s his third time doing this and after the first two, you as a fan should be excited. In the first year, he started off by getting Brandon Marshall. Last year, he fixed the offensive line with getting Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson on the first day of free agency. Later in the draft, he added Kyle Long and Jordin Mills. The offensive line was outstanding last year and every starter on offense will be back.
This year, Emery has brought in some help with the defense. First, Lamarr Houston comes to the team. From everything we have heard, he is all about putting pressure on the quarterback and is as good as anyone else. The Bears let go of Peppers and he ended up going to the Packers. With this, the Bears saved almost $10 million. Houston is much cheaper and younger. Willie Young from the Lions was also signed. Emery, already, brought in two starters for defensive end. In addition, Nate Collins was signed. With the draft coming up, the Bears will still need another defensive end or tackle, but when that happens, the line is fixed. The two new guys along with Collins will be pretty damn good.
Next up are the linebackers. They bring back D.J. Williams and for cheap. I am fine with that. They signed a guy named Jordan Senn who is a linebacker and will primarily be on special teams. With Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene still here, I am not sure what Emery will do. If Bostic and Greene are as bad as advertised last season, then Emery needs to draft another one. Every team has draft busts at some point so I won’t give him too much criticism considering all the other work he has done. With Briggs on his last legs, they should keep their options open.
So what about that secondary? Well, first, Chris Conte is still on the team. How that is possible is beyond me. He shouldn’t even be allowed back in Chicago after he pulled a Danieal Manning. At least Major Wright is gone. The Bears brought in two safeties in free agency that they believe will not only contribute, but start in Ryan Mundy and M.D. Jennings. Jennings could be more known for that interception that wasn’t an interception when the Packers played the Seahawks on a Monday night in 2012. Regardless, the Bears still need to draft some help in this area. Tillman, Jennings and Hayden will all be back but I still think they should get another cornerback as well.
On offense, Domenik Hixon was signed. I believe Earl Bennett is on the roster so having a nice third or fourth choice wouldn’t be so bad for Cutler in a game.
The Bears have seven draft picks in this year’s draft. I think that’s more than enough to finish fixing the defense. You would assume they will get a defensive tackle in the first round, followed by a linebacker in the second. You would think, another safety and cornerback as well. With the other three picks, a linebacker, extra offensive lineman and a running back to help Matt Forte would round out the draft the Bears.
One thing is for sure: Emery has put the Bears in a great position financially. With the release of Peppers and reasonable contracts of the new guys, he has made this team much better and on the cheap. You have to give him credit for this. If the draft goes as well as I think it will, the Bears are contenders next year.
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