Jerry Angelo's Worst Acquisitions
Jerry Angelo Chicago Bears
10. Brandon Meriweather-S-Free Agent 2011: I lauded this pickup when it happened. Meriweather was the New England Patriots' first-round draft pick in the 2007 draft and a former Pro Bowler. But Meriweather was also known to be undisciplined and reckless on and off the field. Angelo snatched up Meriweather and gave him a lucrative one-year contract as soon as the Patriots released him in the final preseason cutdowns. In his four games as a starter for the Bears, Meriweather seemed more interested in teeing off for big (and frequently illegal) hits on opponents rather than playing in the defensive scheme. Despite Chicago's need for talent at the position, Meriweather quickly played his way onto the bench for the remainder of the 2011 season. He was supplanted in the starting lineup by rookie Chris Conte.
9. Chester Taylor-RB-Free Agent 2010: Taylor was second on the list of three successive failed players at the backup running back position. Because former Lion Kevin Jones couldn't stay healthy, and starter Matt Forte was coming off a somewhat disappointing sophomore season, the Bears threw $7 million guaranteed at Taylor when he became a free agent. Despite being 29 years old, it was thought that Taylor's legs were fresh as he had only been a starter in the league for one season (2006). He had spent the majority of his career backing up Jamal Lewis in Baltimore and Adrian Peterson in Minnesota. For the $7 million the Bears paid Taylor for one season, they received 267 yards rushing with a 2.4 yard average per carry and three touchdowns.
8. Brandon Manumaleuna-TE-Free Agent 2010: The boneheaded signings of Chester Taylor and Manumaleuna in 2010 went hand-in-hand. Manumaleuna ostensibly was demanded by offensive coordinator Mike Martz when he came to town, the tight end having been drafted by Martz in St. Louis. Manumaleuna was nothing more than a third offensive tackle to block for Martz' frequent seven-step drop pass plays. But he didn't even do that well, as I distinctly remember him being blown by on several critical sacks of Jay Cutler in 2010. Like Taylor, Manumaleuna was guaranteed an enormous amount for his one season in Chicago: $6.1 million. And the return was virtually nothing.
7. Roy Williams-WR-Free Agent 2011: At least the Bears didn't do what Dallas did when they gave up first and third-round draft picks for the enigmatic receiver. Williams had enjoyed success in Detroit under Mike Martz, making the Pro Bowl in the 2006 season. He was a flop in Dallas, and when the Cowboys released him prior to the 2011 season, Angelo signed the veteran to a "prove it" deal for one season and over $2 million in salary. What Williams proved is that he's probably done in football. While his stats were OK given the undewhelming history with Bears receivers, he short-armed and dropped too many passes as has become his trademark.
6. Kordell Stewart-QB-Free Agent 2003: Probably anticipating that he would be drafting a quarterback, and with the release of veteran starter Jim Miller, Angelo was in the market for the standard veteran quarterback to guide and tutor the rookie. So free agent Kordell Stewart was signed. Stewart had a very up-and-down career with the Steelers. Drafted in the second-round in 1995, used as the original "Slash" at wide receiver and running back, Stewart became Pittsburgh's starting quarterback in 1997. He had played himself out of a job by 2000, but was starting again and actually made the Pro Bowl in 2001. But in 2002 he lost his job again due to poor play and was released. Angelo figured Stewart would provide a unique weapon for offensive coordinator John Shoop, to be used in such plays that turned out to be quarterback draws after a fake handoff that drew linebackers into the hole. Stewart started seven games in his one year with the Bears. He was intially benched due to poor play for the aged Chris Chandler, then reassumed the starting position after Chandler was injured. Then he yielded to rookie Rex Grossman when the Bears were out of the playoff race. He threw seven touchdown passes, 12 interceptions and only completed 50% of his passes.
5. Frank Omiyale-OL-Free Agent 2009: Angelo steadfastly refused to build the offensive line through the draft during his tenure. Granted, his very first pick was an offensive lineman (Marc Colombo in 2002). But aside from 2008 first-round pick Chris Williams, Angelo only selected linemen in the mid to late rounds of the draft. At the start of free agency in 2009, Angelo's first move was to sign Omiyale to a four-year, $14 million contract as a starting offensive lineman. Omiyale had done a decent job as a fill-in at right tackle in Carolina, and Angelo planned to make him a starting guard. Omilyale flopped in the role in 2009. What is still surprising is that when he was moved to the critical left tackle position in 2010, Omiyale played admirably, if not solidly. But in 2011 he was forced to substitute at right tackle, and played like a turnstile. He was released following the 2011 season. Omiyale might have been a mere blip in the Jerry Angelo story, but counting on this gamble to return solid offensive line play did not pan out.
4. Jonathan Quinn-QB-Free Agent 2004: Rex Grossman had showed promise at the end of the 2003 season to be the Bears' quarterback of the future. His injury history to that point was clean, so the position of backup quarterback wasn't thought to of urgent focus. When Angelo signed Quinn, Kansas City's backup quarterback, the reason was more to tutor Grossman on new offensive coordinator Terry Shea's offense than for the actual need to step in and play the majority of the season. And Quinn had shown promise when he took the field for his former team, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Then fate intervened when Grossman tore his ACL in the third week of the season, thrusting Quinn into the starting role. He only kept the job for three weeks before being pulled for rookie fifth-round draft pick Craig Krenzel, and was cut as a failure following the season. Quinn threw for one touchdown and three interceptions with a 52% completion percentage. Like any decision that turns out to be bad in the game of football, any signing is a crapshoot until a player proves himself. This crapshoot did not work out.
3. Gaines Adams-DE-Trade 2009: The fact that Adams died tragically of a heart condition following the 2009 season is not a consideration here. This was still an awful move when Angelo sent Tampa Bay a second-round draft pick in 2010 for Adams, who had underwhelmed on the field despite being the fourth overall pick in the 2007 draft. In 10 games with the Bears in 2009, Adams registered only seven tackles, one pass defensed and one forced fumble. Many in the league had already felt that Tampa fleeced the Bears in the trade, even before Adams died tragically. Adams' death paved the way for the Bears to pursue Julius Peppers hard in 2010 free agency.
2. Adam Archuleta-S-Trade 2007: Archuleta was a first-round draft pick by Lovie Smith during his first year as defensive coordinator in St. Louis. He was an All-Rookie selection in 2001, and a solid safety for the Rams through the 2005 season. In one of their usual free agent signing binges, in 2006 the Washington Redskins signed Archuleta to a six-year, $30 million contract. In just one season with the Redskins, he started only seven games and had fallen out of favor with his new team. Smith was clearly enamored with Archuleta and as soon as word spread that he might be available in a trade with Washington, the Bears dealt a sixth-round pick for him. They also guaranteed him $5.1 million in salary for 2007. Archuleta started 10 games at safety for the Bears but was benched, then cut, when he proved he could no longer cover or wrap up tackles. After the acquisition of Archuleta, the Bears traded starting safety Chris Harris to the Carolina Panthers. When incumbent safety Mike Brown was lost for the season in the opener, it put even more pressure on Archuleta to perform, which he did not.
1. Todd Collins-QB-Free Agent 2010: In the grand scheme of his ten seasons leading the Chicago Bears, perhaps listing a one-season backup quarterback as Jerry Angelo's worst personnel acquisition is not fair or legitimate. Collins only played in two regular season games and one playoff game, and word has it that the signing was demanded by offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Perhaps it is fairer to say that neglect of the backup quarterback position is the problem more than the signing of Collins, to be exact. But the fact is the Bears' failure to win one more game to advance to Super Bowl 45 was a direct result of not having a competent backup to replace Jay Cutler in case of injury, which happened in the 2010 NFC Championship Game at home against bitter rival Green Bay. Collins was absymal in his every appearance in 2010, including the majority of the third quarter of that critical game.







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