Upon being traded to Chicago, Ogunleye received a six-year $33 million contract. He had the resume to deserve such a lofty deal. He had 24.5 sacks over the previous two seasons, including coming off an AFC high 15 sacks in 2003 that ended with him in the Pro Bowl.
However, many wondered if the production came from all the attention focused on RE Jason Taylor. Ogunleye struggled in his first season with the Bears. He missed all off-season workouts with Miami because he was a contract holdout.
An ankle injury early in the season hampered his ability to get to the quarterback. His 5.0 sacks were his lowest total since becoming a starter in 2002.
While the six-foot-4, 260-pounder tried to play with pain, the injury forced him to miss three games and he finished the season on IR. He had surgery to repair a torn tendon.
Ogunleye returned in 2005 with a purpose. He wanted to be part of the best defense in the NFL and get back to what he does best, get after the quarterback.
The five-year veteran has registered a sack in half of the team's 10 games. He matched a career high with his three sacks against the Panthers. The performance vaulted into the team lead with 7.0 sacks on the season and he's one behind the leaders in the NFC.
The Carolina game marked the first time Ogunleye and Alex Brown (2 sacks) had multiple sacks in 17 games.
The Bears finished eight sacks and the talent on the front four is proving too much for the opposition to handle. Chicago is fourth in the NFL with 31 sacks, 20 of which have come from the defensive line.
"If you give us a chance to get after the quarterbacks and for a while they were double-teaming us, but if you're going to block Alex one-on-one and block me one-on-one, and block Tommie (Harris) one-on-one, I'm betting nine times out of 10 we're going to get after you," Ogunleye said.
The defense has become the top unit in the league in terms of yardage and points allowed.
"It's a testament to how hard we're working and how hard we've tried to get to where we're at right now," Ogunleye said. "Coaches have been on us from training camp to now and we knew we're going to have playmakers on that side of the ball. Everybody knew that we had a great defense on paper and just had to show it and we're starting to do that."
Ogunleye has been doing it against the run as well. According to the statistics kept by the Bears, his 60 tackles are good enough to lead the defensive line and he's on pace to set a new career high. He also has seven tackles for loss, four pass break-ups and a forced fumble.
Since going to Miami, Booker has 74 receptions and just two touchdowns in 25 games. He never had the speed to scare an opposing defense. Considering the pounding he took to catch balls over the middle, it appears it's starting to catch up with the seven-veteran. He hasn't come close to matching his production of 197 receptions from 2001-02.
Thanks to the trade, the Bears have one of the best front fours in football, while the team has filled Booker's shoes through the free agent addition of Muhammad.