I’m about to make a whole lotta passionate Chicago Bears’ fans homicidal, but before I do I want to point out that’s not my intention.
No, seriously, it’s not.
As a Seahawks fan though, I’m a little offended by Jared Allen’s comments of late, suggesting that the “product on the field” in Chicago is the most important aspect of what they are offering him as a player. Not the money, not the atmosphere, not the coaching staff, but the “chance to win” and win big. The rest of it was mentioned as a total package but what gets me is he says in no uncertain terms that he believes the Bears are a Super Bowl caliber team.
Before I address that part of it, let me say that I know Seattle isn’t the end-all/be-all in the NFL. I realize that the Seahawks are just recently experiencing a wave of success that has never been seen around the great Northwest. I also understand that the Seahawks are not the only “Super Bowl-caliber” team in this league, in fact they are far from the only team who could win the whole thing next year or any given year.
That said, the class of the NFC is undeniably West of Chicago and that’s not a “delusional Seattle fan” talking anymore, it’s the facts. Heck, until the Bears prove that they can beat Green Bay (and they wouldn’t have come close had the Packers kept Aaron Rodgers healthy last season) I’m not sure they can be called “Super Bowl contenders.”
OK, so they did take a step in the right direction with the signings of Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Dominic Hixon, among others. For Allen’s part, he definitely took a step forward from a Minnesota team who is in complex flux outside Adrian Peterson. Maybe they did take a decisive lead in the NFC North arms race, as Green Bay really has only made a splash this offseason with Julius Peppers. But championship contenders?
If you ask me, money played a bigger part in this whole ordeal and Chicago just happens to be in a decent position to compete in the NFC. He did say before free agency that money was going to be a huge determining factor after all, and $15.5 million guaranteed is pretty solid mullah.
Maybe if the Seahawks were serious contenders at their offer point (said to have come in just slightly lower than Chicago’s), the loss of Golden Tate (though it was the only way Seattle could even offer Allen in the first place), Chris Clemons, Walter Thurmond and a couple other pieces along with no other real splash signings made Allen a little wary that this might not be the dominant Seahawks team of this past season. Maybe he felt the Bears are taking their step up and the Seahawks are lagging behind the Niners at this time, which makes them vulnerable.
A valid criticism at this point, though nothing suggests they won’t be able to recover with the depth they have accrued. Also, an exciting draft pick or two would put this team right back where they were to end the season, on top. And if they had added Allen? My gosh, who knows just how scary the defense might have been?
But alas, we have moved on as fans and are looking forward to a highly productive May 8 – 10 in New York. Only time will tell, but I thought it interesting the comments that Allen made during his press conference. Of course, what else was he gonna say, “I just came here for the money… don’t really believe we’re Super Bowl contenders but I figured whatever it’s just a game anyway?”
Actually, that woulda been kinda funny!