Under former coach Lovie Smith, the Bears were known as a defensive team. But now the organization is clearly transitioning -- like the rest of the NFL -- to an offense-first philosophy.
The additions of tight end Martellus Bennett and two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod signify the focus is now on Jay Cutler and the offense to win football games. Last year it was the arrival of Michael Bush and Brandon Marshall, and it's almost certain that the Bears will add at least one more -- if not two -- offensive linemen either in free agency or via the draft.
This is also a signal to Cutler -- now having all the pieces to the puzzle surrounding him -- he will have to put up franchise-type numbers showing he can be a winner and a leader.
What's interesting is that at this point the Bears have not announced any players being released, something they will have to do to make room for a couple of new big deals.
It also appears more likely that they will lose some key players from last season’s roster.
General manager Phil Emery obviously once again had a plan as to how he was going to attack free agency and put a priority on signing players of top-level talent. He also made the decision that it was more important to sign those players first before signing the team’s own free agents -- a sign he valued outside talent more than in-house talent. This is just the beginning of what will be a busy day and offseason.