With the Bears and Matt Forte ending their soap opera by striking a long-term agreement, the Monsters of the Midway now have virtually no distractions heading into training camp next week.
That allows the Bears to focus solely on the task at hand: winning a Super Bowl title.
And they better do it quickly, because after this year the window may be closing.
After this coming season, Brian Urlacher, D.J. Moore, Henry Melton, Chris Spencer, Chris Williams, Israel Idonije, Nick Roach, Lance Louis, and Kelvin Hayden all see their contracts expire.
At the end of 2013-2014, Jay Cutler, Peanut Tillman, Robbie Gould, Devin Hester, Roberto Garza, Tim Jennings, Kellen Davis, Matt Toeaina, J’Marcus Webb, Major Wright, and Tyler Clutts all have their deals run out.
That makes 20 key contributors who all have a chance of not returning. It doesn’t take a football genius to realize that bringing back even two-thirds of these guys is highly unlikely.
Given that, and the fact that the team’s backbone, the defense, is aging, the 2012-2013 season is the best chance the Bears have to win a title in what might be a long time.
The Bears aren’t by any means a perfect team heading into camp, as they have a major flaw in their offensive line and a few smaller flaws on defense at safety and the defensive line alongside Julius Peppers. However, the rest of the contenders in the NFC all have their concerns too.
- Can Green Bay stop anybody on defense?
- Is Detroit going to stop the pass, and are they going to get anything going on the ground offensively?
- How will New Orleans handle games without Sean Payton?
- Is Atlanta ever going to be able to do anything in the postseason?
- Was San Francisco a fluke and do they have enough on offense?
- Will Philadelphia figure out how to stop the run?
As you can see, everyone in the NFC has their fair share of questions just like the Bears do, and you could argue that the Bears have the most balance out of all of those contenders. However, the Bears also probably have the window that’s shrinking the fastest.
So put in your work in camp and realize the opportunity that’s at hand, Chicago Bears. Who knows when you’ll have this shot again.