Yahoo! Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo! every day. Learn more »Yahoo! Contributor Network
Chicago Bears sign Marion Barber and Amobi Okoye: Fan’s take
In my article here, I stated that thus far in the "rapid fire off-season," the Chicago Bears had been relatively quiet. That was a few days ago. Now, as I and others expected, they've been much more active. Recently, the Bears added two additional pieces to their roster: former Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber(notes), and former Houston Texans defensive end Amobi Okoye(notes). Both moves sit well with this Bears fan.
They both sit well with me because they are low risk, potentially high reward signings. For one, both are short term contracts: Barber, two years; Okoye, one. The Bears aren't locking themselves into anything should things go awry. Marion Barber has had stellar numbers, but they came a few years back, and you always wonder with running backs ever being able to recapture their best years. But Barber will be competing for the slot behind Matt Forte(notes) to share some carries. With Forte being a more agile back, Barber's harsh running style could complement nicely. If it doesn't, however, the Bears aren't out much.
Amobi Okoye is an interesting signing. With the Houston Texans for the first four years of his career, his numbers have been decent, but nothing overwhelming. That being said, I don't get to see the Texans play that often. I'll leave it to a Texans fan who has seen him play for four years to make the best judgment on his overall quality. But again, he's low risk. The Bears always seem to overload on defensive ends, primarily due to their scheme's need for both production from that position and the need to have a strong rotation to keep everyone fresh to achieve the said production.
While no signing is ever an automatic success, the Bears have been taking a lot of wildcard additions: Roy Williams, Barber, Vernon Gholston(notes), and Okoye. If these wilcard picks pay off with a strong upside, the Bears could be really tough. However, they run the risk of having added a ton of dead weight if these players don't perform. It's also nerve-wrecking that as I write this, it appears Olin Kreutz(notes) is headed elsewhere. It's good to sign wildcard players because you can get pleasantly surprised, but when you sign too many, they chances of them all working out are slim.
Both Barber and Okoye will essentially be role-players, and can be used more or less depending on production. I think the Bears did well with these signings. Will it be enough with their other signings to make them a contender? Hard to say, but they at least seem to have a direction in mind. For better or worse.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, living in Illinois his entire life. You can follow him on Twitter here.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.