Picking overrated and underrated players in sports is such a subjective chore. A good argument could be made for numerous players on every team, with some players falling in both categories. There are few wrong answers, but the choices usually bring up some healthy debate.
As a part of our June 30 Day Challenge, we asked you guys to tell us your most underrated Bear of all time, and your most overrated Bear of all time. Andrew went with Des Clark as his pick for underrated, with you guys chiming in with such names as Steve McMichael, Charles Tillman, John Tait, Bobby Engram, and Thomas Jones to name a few.
Ken had the unenviable task of leading us down a negative path, but his pick of Mike Ditka (the coach not the player) as most overrated Bear was a sound one. Other names brought up by you guys were Matt Slauson, Kyle Long, Lance Briggs, Lovie Smith, and Jim McMahon to cherry pick a few.
Underrated: DT Akiem Hicks
He signed a two-year deal with the Bears last spring as a free agent and responded with a season that saw him play as the team's best down lineman. Hicks is a big man who commands the double, but he also can push the pocket, as his seven sacks attest. He can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2017 season, so this is a money year for him.
From a national perspective, Hicks is certainly underrated, but most Bears’ fans learned to appreciate his play last year. He was consistently good all season long, and if he does it again in 2017, I think some national publicity will follow.
I would like to see the soon to be 28 year old signed to a contract extension relatively soon. The Bears have plenty of cap space this year, and Hicks is young enough to be considered a core guy for when the Bears are supposedly good.
Overrated: RT Bobby Massie
It's hard to find one on their roster, but I went with Massie. The Bears gave Massie a three-year deal last spring as a free agent worth $19 million and he responded with a terrible season. Massie flashed with the Cardinals during his time with the team, which is why the Bears expected more from him last season.
Three win teams generally don’t have many overrated players, so I understand Prisco’s uncertainty in picking one for the Bears.
I wouldn’t call what Massie did “terrible,” but he didn’t have a good year. Then again, I’m not sure if the Bears even expected him to have a good year. They just wanted someone that was serviceable, that could allow them to get Kyle Long back to his more comfortable guard spot.
I guess if you consider Massie’s cap hit, which is the eighth most among right tackles, then the overrated shoe fits.
Who are your picks on the current Bears’ roster, for most overrated and most underrated?