Bears' Jared Allen trade a rare case of win-win-win


Bears' Jared Allen trade a rare case of win-win-win

The exact details of every conversation will remain private, as they should. But the chain of events that led to Jared Allen being traded from the Bears to the Carolina Panthers, which began with Allen’s frank self-assessment, produced a result that benefited all parties involved. Usually a "good" deal is one where everyone leaves the table a teeny bit grumpy, feeling they could've done a little better. Not this one.

The Allen trade was less a case of the Bears dumping a veteran player as part of some rebuilding process of reshaping their roster than the organization doing the right thing for the player, itself and even another NFC team. (The Bears weren't being stupid, though; they certainly wouldn't have traded Allen to Detroit or Minnesota but someone they'd be seeing this year.)

FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, who broke the initial trade story, spoke with Allen and reported via Twitter that Allen was happy to be putting his hand down again, meaning returning to his familiar 4-3 spot of edge rusher. But there was more:

"That's really the big thing for me,” Glazer reported from Allen. “I'm not a standup outside ‘backer, but I told Foxie (coach John Fox) and Ryan (Pace, general manager) I would even put weight on if they wanted me to in order to play that 3-4 end. I didn't want to leave Foxie and Ryan, love those guys. But in the end they knew I didn't fit, so this worked out best."

[MORE BEARS: McClellin leading Bears in tackles for defense 'starting to play together']

Indeed, far from the Bears looking to unload Allen, it was Allen who brought up the obvious ("I'm not a standup outside 'backer") in the wake of the loss to the Seattle Seahawks, in which he’d too often been sealed inside on Seattle runs outside, reacting like a 4-3 defensive end rather than a 3-4 outside linebacker.

For their part, sources told that the Bears in fact might have gotten a little more than the sixth-round pick that the Panthers gave them for Allen. But the fit for Allen was a consideration in the process, and obviously it was going to be a 4-3 team and obviously not a cellar-dweller at this point of his career.

And that 4-3 team turned out to be the Panthers and coach Ron Rivera, an undefeated team suddenly confronted with the loss of starting defensive end Charles Johnson to a hamstring injury. Enter: Allen.

A team with a need. A player who fit that need and was up front about not fitting his own team’s. And a team with a surplus at the position.


Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start by new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."

Nagy on Trubisky: 'He wants to be the best'

Nagy on Trubisky: 'He wants to be the best'

The Bears concluded their second round of OTAs on Thursday with the third and final set of voluntary sessions scheduled for May 29-June 1. Coach Matt Nagy is bringing a new and complicated system to Chicago, so the time spent on the practice field with the offense and quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been invaluable.

"We’ve thrown a lot at Mitch in the last 2 ½ months,” Nagy told Dog Days Sports’ Danny Kanell and Steve Torre on Friday. “He’s digested it really well.”

Nagy’s implementing the same system he operated with the Chiefs, an offense that brought the best out of Redskins quarterback Alex Smith. The former first-overall pick went from potential draft bust to MVP candidate under Andy Reid and Nagy’s watch.

Nagy admitted he and his staff may have been a little too aggressive with the amount of information thrust upon Trubisky so far.  It took five years to master the offense in Kansas City, he said, but the first-year head coach sees a lot of similarities between his current and past quarterbacks.

"These guys are just wired differently,” Nagy said when comparing Trubisky to Smith. “With Mitch, the one thing that you notice each and every day is this kid is so hungry. He wants to be the best. And he’s going to do whatever he needs to do. He’s so focused.”

Smith had the best year of his career in 2017 and much of the credit belongs to Nagy, who served as Smith’s position coach in each season of his tenure in Kansas City. He threw for eight touchdowns and only two interceptions during the five regular season games that Nagy took over play-calling duties last year.

Nagy said Trubisky has a similar attention to detail that Smith brought to the Chiefs’ quarterback room.

"Each and every detail that we give him means something. It’s not just something he writes down in a book. He wants to know the why,” Nagy said of Trubisky. “He’s a good person that is in this for the right reason. His teammates absolutely love him. It was the same thing with Alex [Smith] in Kansas City.”

A locker room that believes in its quarterback is a critically important variable for success, one that Nagy already sees exists in Chicago.

"When you have that as a coach and when you have that as being a quarterback, not everybody has that, and when you have that you’re in a good spot.”