For the NFL Friday there's big Chicago Bears news. With several big signings on Friday, the Chicago Bears are eagerly looking to increase their chances at another playoff run in the 2010-11 NFL season. Chicago signed several of the top players from the free agency class at necessary positions. The Chicago Bears Julius Peppers deal was amongst the biggest move they made. The Bears snatched up Peppers for a fair sum, taking Peppers away from other prospective teams looking for the defensive juggernaut. Also on Friday, it's been reported the Bears signed both Brandon Manumaleuna (tight end) and Chester Taylor (tailback) to $6 and $7 million contracts respectively.
Reports from ESPN are that the Bears and Julius Peppers have finalized a six year deal, which could be worth as much as $40 million in the first three years. The Julius Peppers deal gives the Bears even more of a defensive presence than ever. Last season saw the unfortunate early injury of Brian Urlacher, but with his expected return and the use of Peppers in Chicago, the Bears could be one of the toughest teams on D.
The signing of Chester Taylor gives the Bears a new starting running back for next season. Not only that, but it takes one away from the Minnesota Vikings, a team that nearly made it to the Superbowl. He rushed for 1,200 yards in 2006 for the Vikings and was mainly a 3rd down back behind Adrien Peterson for the past 3 years. Reportedly, the Bears and Taylor agreed to a $12.5 million, four-year contract with $7 million guaranteed.
Taylor's signing came right after the Bears picked up Brandon Manumaleuna, a tight end who will be used as a run blocker. Manumaleuna is 6-foot-2 and 295 pounds out of San Diego who signed on for a five-year contract with the Bears Friday. The Chargers had wanted to retain Manumaleuna's service for next season, but couldn't. Due to the Chargers wanting to pay Antonio Gates as their tight end, they were unable to afford Manumaleuna for another season. Meanwhile with the signing of Manumaleuna in Chicago, veteran tight end Desmond Clark maybe wondering what his status will be. Also of note, Manumaleuna played for the St. Louis Rams in his first five seasons, back when current Bears coach Lovie Smith was the defensive coordinator.
After a trip to the Superbowl several seasons ago, the Bears appear to be hungry for another playoff run in 2010-11. With the Chicago Bears Julius Peppers, Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna signings as well as the return of Brian Urlacher they just may be headed in the right direction next season.