Posted March 12, 2013

Jermon Bushrod to sign with Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears
Jermon Bushrod

The Chicago Bears brought in left tackle Jermon Bushrod to beef up Jay Cutler’s protection. (Cliff Welch/Icon SMI)

You’ll forgive Jay Cutler if he’s enjoying the Chicago Bears’ work on the first day of free agency. A couple of hours after landing Martellus Bennett to give Cutler a needed pass-catching tight end, the Bears reached an agreement on a long-term deal with left tackle Jermon Bushrod.

Bushrod should slot in immediately as the Bears’ left tackle, replacing the much-maligned J’Marcus Webb. As Peter King wrote in his top 50 free agents post, Bushrod is “not great”, but he certainly stands above Webb in the NFL’s left-tackle pecking order … and constitutes a tough loss for the Saints.

The new Bears’ offensive coordinator, Aaron Kromer, served as Bushrod’s offensive line coach in New Orleans, so there is an important degree of familiarity there.

Webb may wind up competing for the right tackle spot — Chicago had issues there too, and Gabe Carimi is slotted as the projected starter at the moment.

Bushrod will be an interesting test case of how much Drew Brees’ presence and the Saints’ wide-open offense protects offensive tackles. Bushrod allowed four sacks and eight QB hits in 1,130 regular-season snaps, per Pro Football Focus, both very respectable numbers. Webb, by comparison, coughed up seven sacks and five additional hits in 1,073 snaps. The Saints threw nearly 200 more passes than Chicago in 2012.

How will Bushrod’s numbers translate to Chicago and Marc Trestman’s offense? The answer will be key to the Bears’ 2013 fortunes.

Grade: C. Bushrod’s deal came in at five years and $36 million, with $17.7 million guaranteed. That’s not an obscene amount, in theory, for a left tackle but it’s an overpay for Bushrod.

2 comments
Brianbe37
Brianbe37

What people seem to forget when they compare Bushrods 2012 stats to Webbs 2012 stats is that Bushord had better numbers in more snaps with very little help from a chip blocking TE or FB. Webb on the other hand played three quarters of his snaps with help from a chip blocker & was still below average in Tices Max protect offense. Bushrod is a more significant upgrade than many may assume. Thank God Webb is finally out at LT. Hopefully Carimi can develope at RT. He was a top ten run blocker & a bottom ten pass blocker last season. Hopefully he can improve his footwork technique in pass protection so we don't have to worry about Duh-Marcus stinking up the RT position now that we finally have a legitimate LT.

metalhead65
metalhead65

 let me get this straight the bears sign one of the best tackles available and solved their biggest need and you give it a c grade and say they overpaid? a B+ if that low and they got him at a bargain. we will indeed see how much brees is responsible for making his lineman look good when he does not have a all pro protecting his blind side any more.