Bears

Bears trade Jared Allen to Carolina Panthers for draft pick

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Bears trade Jared Allen to Carolina Panthers for draft pick

The Bears’ 0-3 start and the Carolina Panthers’ 3-0 beginning to the 2015 season converged on Monday when the Panthers traded to obtain Jared Allen, returning the veteran defensive end to his more familiar 4-3 scheme under Carolina coach Ron Rivera in return for a sixth-round draft choice.

The deal, first reported by FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, gives Allen a chance to play for a playoff contender and nets the Bears something in return for an aging veteran who clearly was not a long-term fit with the team under coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

“We had some depth at the linebacker position and were able to reach an agreement with the Panthers to bring a 2016 draft pick to our team in exchange for Jared Allen,” GM Ryan Pace said in a statement Monday. “Whether it is acquiring additional picks or signing players, we will continue to be aggressive in finding ways to improve our football team.

“We appreciate Jared’s contributions and wish him the best in Carolina.”

Allen had made some progress converting to an outside linebacker in the Bears’ 3-4 defense, starting all three games this season. But he had yet to register a sack, had only six total tackles through three games and just three quarterback hits/pressures. He did have the Bears’ lone interception this season but did not have the consistent impact that he did in his career as a right end in a 4-3 scheme.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

The deal concludes a disappointing tenure for one of the NFL’s all-time sack leaders and one of the more expensive contract boondoggles by the organization. Former GM Phil Emery signed Allen in the 2014 offseason to a deal that included a guaranteed $11.5 million for 2015. Allen delivered a career-low 5.5 sacks during last year’s defensive debacle and had not shown flashes to indicate he had returned to his form of past years.

The Bears also have a glut of players in the Allen mold – Sam Acho, Lamarr Houston, Pernell McPhee, Willie Young – and Allen does not contribute on special teams.

The Panthers, however, are tied atop with the Atlanta Falcons with 3-0 records. They have just seven sacks through three games, none by starting right end Kony Ealy, who was benched for disciplinary reasons for the start of Sunday’s win over New Orleans.

Allen is expected to be a situational pass rusher, with Ealy sliding inside to tackle in nickel situations. Starting left end Charles Johnson went down with a hamstring strain on Sunday and is expected to miss time with the injury.

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

The Chicago Bears will kick off the fourth season of "Meet the Rookies" on June 25, a series that profiles four of the team's 2018 draft picks for a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to the NFL.

The four-episode series will air on ChicagoBears.com at 7:00 p.m from June 25 - 28 and will feature one rookie per night. 

Monday's episode will cover the Bears' first-round pick, Roquan Smith. Selected with the eighth-overall pick, Smith is expected to become an instant-impact player on defense. He's expected to make an impact off the field, too, as a high-character leader. Smith's linebacker-mate Joel Iyiegbuniwe is the focus of Tuesday's episode, with Anthony Miller (Wednesday) and James Daniels (Thursday) rounding out Season 4.

For a deeper dive into what's in store in "Meet the Rookies," check out this description.