Jerry Angelo’s 10th Best Acquisition

Ricky Manning Jr.-CB-Free Agent 2006:

Ricky Manning Jr.

Ricky Manning Jr.

The Bears returned to the playoffs for only the second time in eleven years in 2005. They hosted one of the NFC Divisional Playoff games that season, and in this one appearance they were shocked at home in a loss to the Carolina Panthers. The main reason? Carolina receiver Steve Smith caught passes for over 200 yards against a shaky Chicago secondary. During the game the Bears fielded several abysmal reserve defensive backs, including Rashied Davis, a player that would be converted to play wide receiver the following season. So in order to contend the following season Angelo needed to upgrade the defensive secondary. In addition to drafting safety Danieal Manning that year, Angelo also targeted a member of the Panthers that had helped Carolina embarrass Chicago at home, defensive back Ricky Manning Jr. Manning was a restricted free agent, tendered at the level that required the Bears to forfeit a third-round pick for the signing, and the Bears did so. In one of Angelo’s notable red flag moves, it was later revealed that Manning participated in an assault in Los Angeles shortly after signing a lucrative contract with the Bears. Manning was a solid contributor in 2006, becoming the nickel back, a critical position in Smith’s defense. He proved to be a playmaker, intercepting five passes and returning one for a touchdown during the Super Bowl run. Manning’s play tailed off in 2007, and he was released in 2008. But for his contributions in the special 2006 season, Manning makes the list of good acquisitions.

3 Responses to “Jerry Angelo’s 10th Best Acquisition”

  1. This dude played his a$$ off in 2006! Very exciting to watch that year. What the hell happened to him after that?

  2. You’re right Harry. When I went back to what I wrote when I posted this I did a bit of a double-take because he ended up being a liability in 2007. But yes, he absolutely did play his a$$ off in 2006 and I think he had a lot to do with solidifying that defense.

  3. agreed. really did a nice job as the nickel back. Didn’t make enough big plays in the years after the 06 SB run though. Still a good pickup.

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