Adewale Ogunelye-DE-Trade 2004:Lovie Smith’s defensive system demands a pass rush, and a pass rush usually requires at least one stud pass rusher. In 2004 the Bears invested heavily in tackles Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson in the first two rounds and later Claude Harriot in the fifth, but Alex Brown wasn’t going to cut it as the top defensive end. In arguably Jerry Angelo’s biggest trade splash to that point, the general manager shocked fans by pulling off a trade on the day of Chicago’s first preseason game. Angelo sent wide receiver Marty Booker and the Bears’ 2005 third-round draft pick to the Miami Dolphins for Ogunelye, fresh off a 15-sack season opposite end Jason Taylor in 2003.
Ogunelye had been holding out for a new contract, one which Miami’s leadership including coach Dave Wannstedt would not provide. Acquiring a young, proven pass rusher for an average receiver and a third-round pick was a great move for Angelo and the Bears. Ogunelye spent the majority of his first season with the Bears injured, after he had signed a six year contract worth more than $33 million. His play was solid as the Bears top defensive end in 2005 and 2006, helping lead the Bears defense to top-five rankings in those playoff seasons. But like many of his teammates, his play declined following the 2006 season. He was not re-signed when the six-year contract he signed in 2004 expired.