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The Bears biggest off-season move was...


So far it's been an exciting and busy off-season for the Bears. Topped off, in my opinion, by signing the flashiest free agent on the market in Julius Peppers. But let's not sleep on the other less subtle moves the Bears have made. The other free agents they've signed, the coaching moves they've made, the potentially productive Draft they managed, and trading for a former, and more important to some, popular Bear.

Even though there's still time for Jerry Angelo to make another ripple by trading or signing some other free agent, my guess is he's done. So going about the business of deciding which move could be most impactful for Chicago in 2010 is on the docket today. What ever criteria you decide to go with on your selection is up to you, but I think we'd all like to hear what everybody has to say regardless of your selection. After the jump I'll dive into each choice a bit, so before you vote in the poll be sure to think about the options.

There were some other moves the Bears made, in re-signing a few of their own and promoting Rod Marinelli to defensive coordinator, but I think the following have the greater chance for making a positive impact. I'll list them in alphabetical order so as not to sway the vote.

Chris Harris
Hindsight is always 20/20, and it sure was good to see the Bears right a wrong in reacquiring Harris from Carolina. He immediately becomes the best safety on the roster, and could start at either FS or SS He is penciled in at SS for now, but you never can tell. He also brings a great attitude with him by fully accepting the mentoring/leadership role ala Mike Brown.

Brandon Manumaleuna
The Bears plan on using Manumaleuna as an H-Back leading plays for their tailbacks and as a TE. Expect him to catch only about 10-15 balls, but if he can improve the run game and provide good pass protection help from time to time he'll more than earn his keep.

Mike Martz
A Mike Martz relationship can be rocky at times, as his personality can rub some the wrong way, but there is no questioning his expertise with the Xs and Os of football. If he has the Bears offense rolling no one will care if he's acting like an arrogant S.O.B., but if the offense sputters early things could get dicey.

Julius Peppers
He can be a dominant force at times, but has been accused of coasting through games. Mind you his teammates have never accused him of slacking. Maybe it's just the media spinning things looking for a story. Will the 30 year old freakish athlete start to decline? Or will he continue drawing double teams and racking up stats like these; In eight years he has 81 sacks, 6 interceptions (with 2 TD), 46 passes defended, 30 forced fumbles, and 7 fumble recoveries (with a TD). He is the best defensive lineman the Bears have had since the 80's.

2010 Rookie Class
Drafting a guy in the third round that has a legit chance to start at free safety in week 1 is fortunate. Major Wright may have the truest FS skill set on the roster. Especially for the Bears system where they want the FS to be a hammer. Having Corey Wooten sitting there in the fourth was the definition of "value pick", and I seem to remember the Bears getting solid rookie production from another fourth round DE that fell to them. In 2002 Alex Brown had 9 starts as a rookie. As unlikely as it seems, maybe one of the other draft picks or undrafted free agents will step up and make some noise.

Chester Taylor
I expect Taylor to get a bump in touches from what he had in his time as a Viking. And with the back friendly passing game Martz will run he may eclipse his career high 45 receptions. A 50/50 split on the touches with Matt Forte would not surprise me.

Mike Tice
He's not getting the same "Guru" talk as Rod Marinellli did last year, but he is widely considered one of the better offensive line coaches in the NFL. If he can help stabilize an offensive line that started to come into it's own last year and help along some of the young Bear lineman he may get some "Guru" talk as the season wears on.