Precautionary move

The Packers wanted to dump former first-round pick Jamal Reynolds, but Green Bay didn't want him to land back in the division. In the end receiving a late round draft pick was better then seeing him lineup in a Bear uniform.

Last week the Packers traded Reynolds, the 10th overall choice in the 2001 draft, to Indianapolis for a 7th-round choice that could become a sixth if he plays his way into the Colts defensive line rotation.

At 260 pounds Reynolds has 4.65 speed and is the prototypical speed rusher in the cover 2 scheme, a defense Tony Dungy taught Lovie Smith to run. A speed rusher off the edge is critical in putting pressure on the quarterback and in turn forcing quick decision leads to turnovers.

The Packers knew the Bears would pursue Reynolds, who was to be due a roster bonus of $217,250. So instead of seeing a bust revive his career with a bitter rival, Green Bay traded Reynolds to the AFC.

With about a $1 million in cap space the Bears would have had enough money to sign Reynolds to short term deal. Chicago could use additional depth on the defensive line behind starters Alex Brown and Michael Haynes.

In three seasons, Reynolds finished with three sacks in 390 snaps, six knockdowns, 11 solo tackles and 1/2 tackle for loss. He was too small to hold up against the run and ever found a way to defeat tackles as a designated pass rusher. Still at 25, a change of scenery and working solely as a situational pass rusher he could find his niche.

The Bears could get a glimpse of what Reynolds can do in their defense and in a specialist role, as the Indianapolis Colts come to Chicago on November 21st.


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