I told a couple of other members that I'd wait until the week was out to comment on Emery's move thus far so here it is. JMHO on these signings and what they might mean as far as adding starters or depth. 1) Tillman; Whether it seems like it or not this may well have been the smartest move he made so far. IMHO Peanut would have been the most difficult unsigned FA to replace. Without him both the play and the leadership he provides might have been just as devastating as losing Urlacher's leadership was last year and arguably Peanut is still playing at a higher level at CB than Brian was at MLB. For only $3.5 mil (that surprised me a bit) he's a bargain because I doubt we could have found a better fit even if we spent twice that. With the high degree of likelihood that we'll be playing two new Safeties this year, none of whom are All Pros, to me there is a huge need to have two players of Pro Bowl caliber playing CB and helping the Safeties to adjust to whatever scheme it is they finally decide on. Peanut is still a turnover machine and the only CB in the NFL who makes Megatron "cry uncle". 2) Houston; Some had him ranked above Bennett on the list of available FAs. Whether or not that the case makes no difference at all anymore. Bennett wasn't available and Houston was. This guy is pretty much a left side guy like Bennett but a little bigger. He's NOT a guy who can step up at RDE and replace Pep. I'm not saying he can't be rotated over there just as we've rotated DEs and DTs in the past but if Tucker is smart he'll stick him at LDE where his ability to play the run will be most useful. If McClellin as ever gonna make it as a SLB he'll need a great run stuffing DE playing in front of him to set the edge so he can stay free to penetrate and pursue. That's his game and being a tough hardnosed tackler is Houston's game. Houston doesn't have the burst or speed off the edge to be a top pass rusher but McClellin does. So let Houston set the edge and allow McClellin to roam free and rush like Colvin used to and by using both at their strengths they may have the best of both worlds on that left side. Especially if they can couple that with a great rusher at 3 tech and that's where nabbing Donald and rotating him with Ratliff comes in. 3) Mundy; He may turn out to be the best value of all of them. Maybe another deal like Slauson. He's surely an improvement over Wright, but then a blind man in a wheel chair could be an improvement over Wright based on the way he played last year. Other than his size and ability to hit and tackle what intrigues me is that this guy has been playing for two teams who had very good Safeties as starters which relegated him to playing backup most of his career. When he did get a chance to start 9 games last year he turned in some pretty respectable numbers and as an "in the box" kind of guy he did well. He may not be the best cover guy around but right now I'll be happy just having someone back there who can tackle a runner who breaks into the second level and do a halfway decent job of shadowing TEs. 3) Williams; He was the second most important guy of our own unsigned FAs to bring back and once again we got him for a good price. Now let's hope he can stay healthy. While he has the versatility to play any one of the LB positions we badly need him at MLB. Jon Bostic is not, and I emphasize NOT, and NFL caliber 4-3 MLB and I don't see him ever becoming one. For once Emery was both correct and far more timely in his assessment that Bostic's skill set fits best at WLB and hopefully that's where he'll end up once Briggs hangs it up, or they hang him up. There Bostic has a chance to be another Briggs or Wilbur Marshall but in the middle he's just another guy who can't read fast enough or shed blocks well enough to make a dent. Williams is pretty savvy vet who knows the game and while he may not be great in coverage over the deep middle (that needs to be changed anyway now that Urlacher is gone) he brings back an element that was ignored by Lovie and that's blitzing the MLB and using blitzes is something Tucker is more comfortable with than Lovie ever seemed to be. Along with Tillman this guy brings me some comfort that the teams won't be able to move the ball at will next year. 4) Senn; Much faster than Costanzo and although he's undersized he plays bigger and is a good hedge against Greene's complete failure as an NFL LB. He's 29 and not part of Emery's so called youth movement but he loves playing STeams and gives us another guy similar to Ayanbadejo. I can see him as a WLB backup and as a blitzter but his real purpose is to replace Constanzo on STeams. He has a good motor and a great attitude. 5) Jennings; I'm tempted to say that signing ANYONE who played Safety for the Packers is about the same as signing a Bears OLineman from most any season from 2010-2012. If this is the only competition Emery can find for Conte we may be in trouble but I doubt that will be the case. I'm not sure based on his track record this kid can cover anyone but since he can't seem to defend against the pass at least it's made a fairly good tackler out of him. He's another guy with some speed but more the size of a CB than a Safety so I think he's a STeams guy who can replace guys like McManis and Bowman if neither of them return. I think we can draft a FS somewhere in the first three rounds so we don't have to worry too much about this kid being our last line of defense. 6) Young; Emery calls him a "relentless pass rusher" and all I can respond with is so is Shea McClellin but both always seem to be a step or two short of closing the deal as far as sacks go. At 6'5 and 251lbs he's not an all around DE as much as he is a 3-4 OLB and IMHO pretty much limited to playing RDE in a 4-3 where I'm sure he won't make anyone forget Peppers. Unless we can sign Jared Allen (and that's about as likely as Urlacher inviting Emery out for a beer) what we have in the way of replacements for Pep are two 250-255lb former 7th round picks whose teams let them go and a 260-265lb 6th round pick who never even saw the field last year even though out pass rush sucked. So how much worse did he suck at it? Aside from these guys what we have are two slightly bigger vet rejects who don't strike me as edge rushers either. Forgive me if I'm not all that enthused yet. 7) Hixson; Ho hum. The guys a bigger slot receiver with some speed and some return skills. None that will match Hester's but he's a more legitimate WR. If he does nothing more than but Weems on the street I'll be content with that. I still think the KR/PR guy will be the Williams kid from Canada. If Wilson comes on strong and Hixson meshes with Cutler and can add some talent as a returner than Weems and Bennett may both be gone. So what's left to be done? I'm not convinced we wouldn't be far better off bringing back Wootton once he's gotten a medical clearance although he's another guy Emery never talks about or indicated he wants back. What's up with that? The kid had 7.5 sacks in 2012 playing in rotation with Izzy and willingly sacrificed his future contract by agreeing to move to DT last year and although very undersized for a DT he was still the Bears best interior DL and put up 3.5 sacks or about the same our other prize FA DEs Houston and Young have averaged. So WTFIUPWT? I think Allen is a wet dream but I can't see Wootton getting any long term offers we couldn't match. IMHO we should let Melton go, sign Wootton and draft Donald or Jernigan if Donald is gone. There good talent and youth in that bunch and together Donald and Wootton can probably be had for less than Melton is looking for. JMHO. The draft needs to provide us with a DT, a FS and a CB, a MLB prospect and when that's all over and done an OC prospect and a QB Trestman can work some magic on should somewhere near the bottom of the list. Despite Emery's call for a "youth movement" it didn't exactly happen that way. Getting rid of 30 year old plus guys for a bunch of 28 and 29 year olds won't get that done so next year quite a few more of these guys will be replaced. One thing that should improve this year is the caliber of the depth on defense. Most of these guys are a cut above those we had to use last year although it's not a huge jump. We did add a couple of starters but not one of these guys is an impact type player like some of those we've lost. Emery claims he's not done yet so we'll see what the next couple of weeks brings. After that it'll be all about the draft and then some June 1st cuts to cull through.