Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Mar 2014

Bears Sign Jared Allen

The biggest of the remaining free agent dominoes fell this morning, in a surprising place. Jared Allen is headed to his old rivals in Chicago, to replace Julius Peppers. It's a four-year, $32 million contract that's more like a two-year, $15.5 million guaranteed contract. I really don't think Allen is anywhere near done. He had 11.5 sacks and 25 quarterback hurries last year (according to the FO game charting data that we're about 98 percent done cleaning up). And let's not forget he's the one who generally drew the attention that allowed Brian Robison to get stuff done, not the other way around.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 26 Mar 2014

12 comments, Last at 31 Mar 2014, 9:41pm by Roch Bear


by Will Allen :: Wed, 03/26/2014 - 1:31pm

I wonder what the disparity was between the Bears' and the Seahawks' offers. I'm not sold on Mel Tucker as a defensive coordinator, although last season was the first time I watched one of his defenses with some frequency. I'm pretty sure he's not Ted Cottrell, but I'm not sure he's good, either.

by Jimmy :: Wed, 03/26/2014 - 2:05pm

After years of coaching talentless defences in Jacksonville and then last year's injury debacle the furthest I would go with judging Tucker would be an incomplete grade. If they suck after this year then find a new DC but he should get another chance. Losing 4.5 of the top five DTs in training camp will ruin any defense.

by dbt :: Wed, 03/26/2014 - 3:52pm

I'm glad they're giving Tucker a second year, if only to help convince the next DC that they're not going to just throw someone overboard.

Given Trestman's history of 1 year OC positions followed by being fired along with the HC (part of what precipitated his jump to the CFL), I'm sure he feels strongly about this too.

That said, Lovie was always going to be a tough act to follow.

by Duke :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 3:08pm

I was voting to get rid of Tucker (in the universe where I get a vote on such a thing), but I'm not upset that they kept him because they did fire and replace some defensive assistants.

I know there were a lot of injuries last year, but there were a lot of mental errors and missed assignments that pointed to problematic coaching too, IMO. I don't think it could all be blamed on injuries. But I like that the team wasn't content to keep everyone. I'm optimistic.

by Roch Bear :: Mon, 03/31/2014 - 9:41pm

Will, don't know if you will see this, but if you do, what is your opinion on the fall-off of Allen (aging). I'm not a fan of PFF stats, but their 'view' is he had a bad year in '13. I'd trust you more than them, did you see that?

by coltrane23 :: Wed, 03/26/2014 - 1:45pm

Two years of Jared Allen in Seattle would have been nice, but I'd feel better about securing long term extensions for Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson (next year). Not sure that would have been feasible if they'd made a similar offer. I'm sure that Schneider and Carroll were trying to work out a way to have their cake and eat it too, though.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/26/2014 - 1:49pm

Now Seattle will probably sign Shaun Phillips, for a bargain deal. Or Anthony Spencer.

Good for the Bears though.

by Dan :: Wed, 03/26/2014 - 6:08pm

Allen led the league in number of snaps as a pass rusher (according to PFF), so his sack & hurry totals are a bit misleading.

PFF has him ranked 9th among 4-3 DEs in total number of sacks+hits+hurries, but only 27th out of 38 in sacks+hits+hurries per pass rushing snap.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/26/2014 - 7:25pm

He will be in rotation with Willie Young and Lamarr Houston, that could help him a bit. If they add a DT with either of their first two picks then they could have a very decent rotation at end and tackle. It has to be better than last year's non-defense.

by Dan :: Wed, 03/26/2014 - 9:13pm

It still seems like an overpay. I think that Houston is a better player than Allen at this point, but Allen is getting more $ per year. It's not even clear to me that Allen is better than Young, but Allen's guaranteed money is significantly more Young's whole 3-year contract.

They definitely have upgraded their D line (and could upgrade it even more with someone like Donald in the draft), but there are plenty of other places where they also needed upgrades and could have spent that money (like safety, where TJ Ward cost less than Allen).

by Steve in WI :: Wed, 03/26/2014 - 8:13pm

It's going to be weird rooting for Jared Allen and against Julius Peppers next year.

I really like this signing. One thing that has impressed me about Emery is his willingness to boldly address the Bears' glaring weaknesses, which sounds like such a simple thing but after suffering through the Angelo years is something I don't take for granted. Can they turn around the defense as quickly as they did the offensive line last year? I don't know, but I expect them to at least be mediocre as opposed to godawful.

As for Allen specifically, I think he's a better player than Peppers at this point, and he's significantly cheaper than what they were set to pay Peppers. I think whatever rotation they come up with for him, Houston, and Young should be pretty effective. What's nice is that they've made enough signings so that no particular position absolutely has to be picked in the first round (arguably...I could still be persuaded that they need to go safety with the first round pick no matter what). I still want them to use every single pick on defense though.

by Duke :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 3:13pm

As for Allen specifically, I think he's a better player than Peppers at this point, and he's significantly cheaper than what they were set to pay Peppers.

Well, I think Peppers is still counting $8 mil against the Bears cap this year (that's what I saw in a quick search). So if Allen's hit is $8 mil, then it's $16 mil to replace Peppers with Allen. The same search told me that Peppers would have been an $18 mil hit if he stayed, so still cheaper. But not significantly so.

The move does get a lot cheaper next year, though, when Peppers won't be on the Bears cap at all.