Nearly every dateline coming out of Chicago recently is soon followed by the name Julius Peppers. That’s to be expected. But the first running back plucked off the free-agent market this offseason also belonged to the Bears in Chester Taylor, who always seems to be under the radar.
Taylor isn’t being paid by the Bears like a backup — he signed a four-year, $12 million contract, with $7 million guaranteed. So it’s no surprise to hear new offensive coordinator Mike Martz gush about Taylor’s skills and that he views the veteran as a starter along with Matt Forte.
“We have two starters,” Martz told Larry Mayer of Chicagobears.com. “That’s how we look at it. We’re fortunate to have two starters. As you look around the National Football League, the teams that are running the ball well, they all have two starters. They’ve got two backs. It’s not a 1-2 punch as much as either one of those guys can carry the load. That’s just how they approach it. They will share duties.”
During his visit to NFL Network on Monday, Bears play-by-play voice Jeff Joniak opined that the multidimensional Taylor is the perfect fit for the Bears and astutely pointed out that the ex-Viking has far less carries than his fellow veteran backs on the free-agent market (see LaDainian Tomlinson, Thomas Jones, Larry Johnson, Brian Westbrook, Jamal Lewis).
The Bears have one less running back they after released Kevin Jones on Tuesday. Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune also reported that unrestricted free-agent RB Adrian Peterson isn’t expected back.