The first full day of free agency hasn't even reached Miller Time and already the Chicago Bears are closer to catching the Packers and Vikings.
I'd now put Da Bears at the top of Da Winners list at this early point of free agency.
Signing defensive end Julius Peppers and running back Chester Taylor helps the Bears and delivers a big blow to the Vikings, obviously. I'm a little surprised Taylor is going to Chicago. I expected him to shop for more of a sure thing when it came to being a starter. But his signing tells me new Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz has a significant role in store for Taylor. Maybe a poor man's Marshall Faulk type of role.
Assuming Martz can help Cutler improve, which I think he can, the Bears are a team to be taken seriously after today.
They have the big-time pass rusher they've lacked the last few years. They have a running back who can protect and catch a ton of passes from Cutler. And they've hurt the Vikings in the process.
If the Bears can work some kind of deal for a top-flight receiver, and maybe bolster their offensive line a little, they could be back in the NFC North picture this season.
But the signing of Taylor to a deal worth $12 million with $7 million guaranteed frees up the Vikings to make a move for a player with a similar salary. I don't think they should use it on a running back. At least not before exploring what's out there at cornerback. This team is in desperate shape at cornerback. And corners are harder to find than running backs.