The biggest news on the free agency/trade front for the Bears has been the trading of Greg Olsen to the Carolina Panthers for a 3rd round pick. This has drawn mixed feeling from the NFL and Chicago Bear's fan base. Many of which were surprised and confused as to why the tight end was traded. Olsen was tied for first on the team in touchdown receptions and seemed to consistently lead the team in targets (attempted throws) and receptions.
Now that the trade news has simmered a bit, I decided to look at the pro's and con's of the eventual potential this has on the Bears season. Greg was undoubtedly one of our best if not our best weapon on the passing front.
Greg Olsen was undoubted the one of the Bears top three scoring weapons, and pretty much the only scoring option for Cutler in the red zone. Olsen created a mismatch for the defense as his big frame and speed combination proved to be too much for linebackers and safety's alike. He was faster than the backer's and too strong for the safeties. Match made in heaven. With the implementation of the Mike Martz offense however, which was notorious for not being very "tight end friendly" and unreasonable expectations even for a Cane' Greg's days were seemingly numbered since last summer.
The Bears had once tried to shop Olsen last season with no success as they signed Brandon Manumaleuna. So the Bears were ultimately playing with house money last season with a top receptions leader and scorer, and it proved worthy as he once again was atop the Bears leaders in catches and touchdowns.
But don't cry, it will be ok. There is way more good in this than bad. Lets take a look at the pro's of this trade "As I See It":
Get Over It
So what we gave up Greg for just a 3rd round pick. I would bet dollars to Bears tickets that Olsen would have put up around the same offensive numbers as he did last season. Not saying it's a bad thing, but more to the fact is Jay Cutler would have had about the same sack total.
Building For the Future....
Speaking of draft picks, see many on the team? I know the lure of a Jerry Angelo draft pick doesn't satisfy a majority of the Bears fan base's fancy, but on the good side that pick may not even be ours (trade bait, "trade-up" bait, bargaining chip) to take nor Angelo's to make.....
Also speaking of sack totals, take a guess at how many plays Olsen was on the field when Jay Cutler got sacked? I don't know either, but I watched every Bears game last season and I know I spotted 82 on the field more times than I didn't (once again not knocking Olsen, just saying I like our quarterback brain injury free).
This move undoubted frees up options for the other Bears receivers that are starving for it. During the lockout many of the Bears core receivers got some "pitch and catch" time in with J6 (my new Jay Cutler hybrid nickname) and have a year on their belt in the Martz system. Can't be a bad thing. I saw alot of Jay Cutler passes to Olsen when things weren't going right to Jay in the progression and it ended badly. Jay openly wanted and needs that "go up and get it guy" and with Olsen sucking up all the space on the interior, Martz's stereotypically small guys can't work the interior on those turfy slant-cross routes to free up a Roy Williams to get physical deep with the safety.
Trust me when I tell you that Jay Cutler likes this move for Williams WAY more than any Bears fan in this greater Chicago-land area. I don't know when Jay's birthday is, but he got a early present from Mike Martz (coached Roy in his best statistical NFL season for the 2006 Detroit Lions ( 1310yds, 7TD's, 82 receptions), and Jerry Angelo (throw wide receiver's coach Darryl Drake in there as he coached Roy in his glory days at the University of Texas.
Not gonna sugar coat the season's thereafter, Roy hasn't since come close to that 2006 season or even a legit 200yds of a 1,000yd season. But for the 6'4'', 210lb 30yr a reunion may just be exactly what the Dr. ordered.
So don't fown Chi-town. "As I See It, the Bears are a few more tweaks (hint, hint, nudge, nudge Jerry) away from being Super Bowl Bound and Down!