Chicago Bears: 15 best free agent acquisitions of all-time

Steve McMichael, Chicago Bears. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Steve McMichael, Chicago Bears. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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John Tait, Chicago Bears
John Tait, Chicago Bears. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

57. . OT. (2004-08). John Tait. 9. player

Ruben Brown was talked about earlier as a strong member of the 2006 roster that made it to the Super Bowl. Another member of that impressive offensive line was left tackle John Tait. Like Brown, he came over to the team via free agency.

A star at BYU in the late 1990s, Tait was selected 14th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a backup as a rookie, but found himself the starter for Kansas City in 2000. He never relinquished that role, but the Chiefs decided not to match the six-year, $34 million offer sheet he received from the Bears.

That led to him moving on to Chicago, where he was quickly inserted as the starting left tackle. After playing average football for the first two seasons with the Bears, Tait took off in 2006. He was a great anchor on the blindside for them for the final three seasons of his career.

2006 was arguably his best season, as he and the talented line opened up plenty of holes in the running game. Thomas Jones went for 1,210 yards on the ground, while Cedric Benson added another 647. They also kept Rex Grossman comfortable enough in the pocket to throw for 3,193 yards en route to 13 wins.

Getting to the Super Bowl with Grossman was an incredible accomplishment for this team. The offensive line, including Tait, deserves much of the credit for that. Yes, their defense was amazing, but the offense overachieved given their quarterback situation.