We went from not a lot of Bears news to a bunch of Bears news in one day. The Chicago Bears made three key signings yesterday in DE Jarvis Jenkins, DE Ray McDonald and LB Mason Foster.
Yes, there are off the field concerns with McDonald but we are not a police officers, lawyers, judges or jury members, so let’s just focus on the football stuff for now.
DE Jarvis Jenkins:
Jenkins played extremely well in mixed fronts coming out of Clemson, but has had injury issues and off the field problems since coming into the league with Washington. He is still only 26, and has the potential to be more than effective at the defensive end/5-technique in a 3-4 front. Coming into a Fox led locker room and playing with Ratliff, Rolle and other vets should only further benefit his potential. He will have a good shot at being a starter on day one.
DE Ray McDonald:
McDonald will turn 31 when the season starts, but has not showed any signs of slowing down. Fangio will know just what to do with him at the 5-technique spot, and will be able to move him around. He will come in knowing the scheme well, and can help the other members of the defense get ramped up quickly. If you watched the 2013-2014 season/playoffs, you will know the kind of nightmares he caused offensive coordinators. He will be a day one starter.
ILB Mason Foster:
It looks as though the weeks of torment have finally come to a close. Mason Foster should be a Chicago Bear by today, pending a physical. Foster is an every down player who is strong against the run and the pass. He has the type of agility to get to where he needs to be quickly, and can call the alignments. Foster almost seemed misused in the Tampa 2, and playing in a 3-4 should only up his game. Even if he is only used on two downs, he will make his presence known as a read and react run defender. There will be a very tight competition between Foster, Jon Bostic and Christian Jones for the ILB spots. Mason Foster would be best served in the middle, but that rotation would be very solid. He should be a starter right away.