The 2014 NFL Draft is officially a wrap, which means offseason additions are just about complete. There will be some small free agent additions here and there, but training camp rosters are just about set. With that in mind, we are back to review each of the 49ers 2014 opponents. Each team has gained and lost numerous players, so this series will help get you more familiar with the rosters of each opponent.
The Chicago Bears went 8-8 last season with the help of their back-up QB and because of their lackluster defense. Slipping from Football Outsiders number one ranked defense two seasons ago, Chicago's defense stalled out. Football Outsiders ranked them 25th last season. The defense ended up being a major factor (/salutes) in why the Bears struggled last season. Clearly a big need going into this offseason was fixing the defense.
In contrast, Chicago's back-up QB, Josh McCown, replaced an injured Jay Cutler for part of the season, performing admirably. It was a contract year, however, and the Bears let him walk. He signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Getting another QB to back-up Culter became a priority this offseason once McCown left.
The currently have $7,602,388 in cap space according to Over the Cap.
Additions - DE Lamarr Houston, DE Willie Young, WR Domenik Hixon, S Ryan Mundy, LB Jordan Senn, DE Austen Lane, S M.D. Jennings, DE Jared Allen, DE Israel Idonije, S Danny McCray.
Losses - QB Josh McCown, DE Julius Peppers, DT Henry Melton, DE Corey Wootton, WR Devin Hester, CB Zack Bowman, LS Jeremy Cain.
Given the two points I raised above, the "losses" category does look a bit ominous. With Peppers, Melton, and Wootton all leaving, Chicago really needed to add some depth along the DL. Enter Allen, Young, and Houston. While these three could be good for the Bears, their signings merely replace lost players and probably don't help bolster the situation. That said, Allen is a monster of a player, putting up 11.5 sacks last season for Minnesota. This is, of course, about half of what he put up in 2011, when he had 22.0 sacks. Though he is getting up there in age (he will be 32 this season) look for him to have a strong start to his Chicago career.
CB Kyle Fuller (14th)
DT Ego Ferguson (51st)
DT Will Sutton (82nd)
RB Ka'Deem Carey (117th)
FS Brock Vereen (131st)
QB David Fales (183rd)
P Pat O'Donnell (191st)
OT Charles Leno (246th)
With the first three picks in the draft, Chicago shored up their defense. Picking up Fuller with their first round pick was nice since he can be their Jimmy Ward, stepping in day one at nickel CB to compliment Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings. The next two picks (DTs Ferguson and Sutton) should inject some competition into that defensive line, adding more depth and potential. Finally, Fales becomes the new developmental QB and honorary Josh McCown replacement.