Bears free agency: good and bad

March, 27, 2014
Mar 27
8:00
AM ET
Bushrod
Good
Jermon Bushrod
Position: Left tackle
Contract: Five years, $35,965,000 with $17,715,000 in total guarantees
Years of service with Bears: 2013-present

Recap: The perception is the Bears overpaid for Bushrod. In reality, the seven-year NFL veteran represented a massive upgrade over former starting left tackle, J'Marcus Webb. Bushrod anchored a Bears' offensive line that stayed intact for the entire 2013 season, until rookie right tackle Jordan Mills injured his foot in the first quarter of the team's Week 17 loss to the Green Bay Packers. With Bushrod protecting quarterback Jay Cutler's blind side, the Bears tied for fourth in the NFL with the fewest sacks allowed (30), while the line helped pave the way for tailback Matt Forte to rush for a career-high 1,339 yards. Bushrod is a professional in the locker room. He handles his business with class and is a terrific role model for the younger, impressionable offensive linemen.

Manumaleuna
Bad
Brandon Manumaleuna
Position: Tight end
Contract: Five years, $15 million
Year of service with Bears: 2010

Recap: Manumaleuna, a favorite of ex-offensive coordinator Mike Martz, caught five passes for 43 yards and one touchdown in his lone season with Chicago. He was released the following summer for reporting to training camp overweight, forcing the Bears to carry $1.6 million of dead salary cap money. Manumaleuna had a good run in the NFL with stops in St. Louis and San Diego, but failed to make an impact in Chicago. He missed a team meeting the night before the regular-season opener because he misunderstood the schedule. Manumaleuna was a fine guy in the locker room, but he never got with the program. He never played in another NFL regular-season game after his release from the Bears.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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