Sam Acho heads to Bears

Posted by Darren Urban on April 1, 2015 – 11:20 am

It was becoming pretty clear the Cardinals were going to move on from linebacker Sam Acho once he hit free agency, but that became official Wednesday when Acho signed a one-year contract with the Bears. Acho flashed as a rookie in 2011 with seven sacks, although never quite found that pass-rush level again. His 2013 was cut way short after he broke his leg. Last season he had 46 tackles and one sack — in the finale — in a reserve role.

There is little question about Acho the human being, however. A better person you won’t find. Any interaction with a fan — and he made sure to do that plenty — led to that fan being his fan. It was nearly impossible to do otherwise. I happened to talk with him a bit at a Suns’ game last month and at the time — right after the initial binge of free agency — Acho said he was probably going to lay low for a bit. At that point, it seemed like his time as a Cardinal had passed, unless he might return post-draft had the team not found a replacement. Now, the Cardinals need to work on building their outside linebacking corps, with the only ones under contract right now Lorenzo Alexander, Alex Okafor, Matt Shaughnessy and LaMarr Woodley. Kareem Martin will also get work there this offseason, but taking one with in the first round of the draft remains a strong possibility.

You can read the farewell statement Acho wrote right here.

Acho, meanwhile, will leave a lot of happy memories with fans in Arizona, like this little girl after a Flagstaff training camp practice in 2012.

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Posted in Blog | 35 Comments »

35 Responses to “Sam Acho heads to Bears”

  1. By D on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    Acho is a fine human being. Good for him.

    Alexander (can’t remember seeing him play much as OLB)
    Okafor (had good success as pass rusher early, but so did Acho)
    Shaughnessy (run supporter)
    Woodley (needs a big rebound)

    K. Martin may get some time at OLB
    D. Freeney — sign him with 1 yr deal?

    First round Pass Rusher will be an option depending on who is left on the board.

    A. Dupree– no brainer if he is on the board at 24
    Eli Harold 1-2 round prospect
    N. Orchard 2 round prospect
    H. Kikaha 2-3 round prospect

    R. Gregory is a top 15 prospect who may fall into the 20’s due to his love of the weed. He is a good pass rusher but not sure after DWash AZ would take a chance.

  2. By red2616 on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    As a Cards fan I liked Acho!! He has been through a TON and seems like a good guy and improved game after game. I wish we still had him!!

  3. By Dana Francis on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    Great video. I’m grateful for the fan’s posting. Best of luck to you Sam!

  4. By rod (Eddie Goldman RD1) on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    Wish you the best Sam!

  5. By georgiebird on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    Another Cards’ linebacker failing to make it to the next level. The litany of failed and underachieving Cards’ linebackers since 1960 is a staggering number.
    I pray the Cardinals don’t draft a LB in Round #1.

  6. By BILL on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    wecome to chicago!

  7. By Andy Kw on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    Forever a Sam Acho fan. Really disappointed that the Cards didn’t try to resign him but I am glad to see Acho stay in the NFL. You might be playing in a different team but we Cards fan will always see you as a Cardinal. Thanks for everything.

  8. By azdesertrat1953 on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    Take a Very warm Jacket, you are going to need it.
    Hate to see you go Sam, be good.

    GO CARDS!!!

  9. By D on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    GeorgieBird- Cards have had some issues of late developing LB’s. Besides DWash, Dansby and E. Hill, maybe R. McKinnon it’s been a challenge. But, I would say it’s been more of a challenge drafting the right RB in the first 2 rounds for the Cards over the last 20 years.

    The depressing RB draft facts:

    1990-RD 2 A. Thompson
    1993-RD 1. G. Hearst (had a good career outside of AZ)
    1994 RD 2. C. Levy
    1996 RD 2. L. McElroy
    2000 RD 1. T. Jones (had a good career outside of AZ)
    2005 RD 2. J.J. Arrington
    2009 RD 1. B. Wells
    2011 RD 2. R. Williams.

    If the Cards draft a RB in the first 2 rounds this year, hopefully he will have a better career than most above.

  10. By Dr. G. on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    Sam Acho was one of the few players that radiated the aura of being a terrific citizen and example for kids. Few players can emulate his written and oral articulation…seems like he took education seriously. We may see him in a broadcast booth someday. For now, we wish him well….g’bye for now Sam…

  11. By John Rojas on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    Great person. I hope we can get a better player. Can’t get a better person.

  12. By gcsmith3 on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    Going to miss the Sam Acho show. Good luck Sam.

  13. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply


    … read or heard Matt Shaughnessy was moving to DL, was attributed to BA.Can’t recall source. Can you confirm? Thx, DTL

  14. By Darren Urban on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    DTL —

    RE: Shaughnessy

    Arians said Shaughnessy “would move inside” but he didn’t say DL. Not sure exactly what that means, to be honest — especially since the Cards are so thin at OLB. I don’t expect him to be a DE.

  15. By red2616 on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    Georgiebird, so not a Pro Bowl = Failed? In just gauging your level of what failure is??

  16. By D on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    I can’t remember a better going away letter than what Sam Acho wrote. Stay Classy. Did I miss DD’s letter?

  17. By georgiebird on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    @ D
    At least at running back there has been some success with top line guys:
    Just a few quickly- Johnny Roland, Terry Metcalf, OJ Anderson, Garrison Hearst, Thomas Jones , McArthur Lane

  18. By Jacob on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    the cardinals need a good QB not some lame QB. i mean this is not cool QB.
    I say give logan a shot.Or get Tim Tebow give that guy a shot to
    Cardinals are nothing without a good Qb.There was the bad QBs not (Logan)
    Palmer was (50)(50)last year

  19. By jwoodaz on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    What charisma and Intelligence, good luck Mr. Acho

  20. By Andy Kw on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    Lets sign Kevin Williams to a 1yr deal

  21. By wth51 on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    We need all the high character players we can get in Chicago. Looks like a top notch addition. Welcome to Chicago!

  22. By clssylssy on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    A quality individual and team-first player that Chicago is lucky to be getting. Was hoping he would be a Cardinal after everything shakes out but instead we continue reshuffling the deck. It always gets me that some of our “fans” have nothing positive to say about any of our players!…what’s up with that? These days teams are so limited in what they can do to develop players because of the CBA and it seems just as they are finding their nitch… BAM…they are no longer on their rookie contract so out the door, only to find success elsewhere while we start the process all over dealing with the learning curve, struggling with continuity, looking for leadership, etc. It was the same story with Dan Williams and is frustrating. Sometimes it’s not the flashiest players that help hold the locker room together, and while fans can quit whining enough about D Wash, or greedy Karlos Dansby they don’t appreciate a guy like Sam Acho?
    Well, I wish him the very best in Chicago as he starts a new and exciting chapter in his NFL career with a legendary organization, and appreciate all he did for our community and organization on and off the field. Chi Town can be an exciting place to live and midwesterners can’t be beat!

  23. By K-Dub on Apr 1, 2015 | Reply

    Best Wishes Sam…I miss Flagstaff.

  24. By Andy Kw on Apr 2, 2015 | Reply

    Looking at the revised cap that we have, we could still spend a little more to nab so needed veterans, we don’t have to spend all of it i know:
    -OLB Geno Hayes (JAX)
    We could sign him to a 2yr $2M. Has has a decent resume. Safe deal, high reward
    -CB Tarell Brown (OAK) or CB Charles Tillman (CHI)
    No matter what Arians thinks, Jerraud Powers is perfect for the slot and we should leave him there. Justin Bethel should have some veteran competition. Tarell Brown has the length and played decently as a Raider. Tillman has a strong resume and was playing at a pro bowl level before his injury. 1yr $1.5M for one of the vets.
    -C Lyle Sendlein (ARI)
    We love his leadership and familiarity in the locker room. Sign him to a 2yr $4M deal. Ted Larsen is not ideal competition for AQ Shipley and should just compete for the RG job with Cooper, Watford, & Steen.
    -MLB Kelvin Sheppard (MIA)
    Is only 27 and has the size and speed to cover TEs. Would be nice insurance if Washington is still suspended or if any injuries occur. Sign to the league minimum deal.

  25. By Vic Suarez on Apr 2, 2015 | Reply

    Thank you Sam for being a great team player and role model. Sorry you are being let go but I wish you the very very best in the NFL and life!!

  26. By MJM on Apr 2, 2015 | Reply

    What about Tillman

  27. By brinnc on Apr 2, 2015 | Reply

    Sad to see you go Sam, wish you could have built off that rookie season of yours, good luck in Chicago!!

  28. By brinnc on Apr 2, 2015 | Reply

    Anyone see the story on the UCF WR, Breshad Merriman (sp) he ran like a 4.24 & 4.27 at his pro day, he is a Junior and had 50 catches for over 1000 yards. What is impressive to me is he is 6-3/220!!! Where the hell has he been, did he workout at the combine? For some reason Im thinking only Seniors get invited to combine, or is that another sport that limits it to Seniors?
    Cant believe there hasn’t been a firestorm around this kid, he has the size and speed, obviously can catch the ball, 50/1095ish, and he has basically been a secret, first I have read anything where he was anywhere near this fast, I have been under a rock, or was for quite awhile, but I’ve been back since February, and I havent heard hide nor hair on this guy!! Anyone have any info, or tidbits that maybe just arent getting published about this guy or is he coming out of nowhere for all my fellow fanatics??

  29. By Cactus jeff on Apr 2, 2015 | Reply

    Why don’t we try this

    BA does the coaching
    Keim does free agency
    Dennis Green does the draft

    It amazes me how awful the drafts have been. It can’t be that hard. Maybe over analysis, or falling in love with character guys, or they draft need.

  30. By Safety Guy on Apr 2, 2015 | Reply

    hey Darren
    when Acho listed all the nicknames in his goodbye…who was Nino?

  31. By Darren Urban on Apr 3, 2015 | Reply

    Safety —

    RE: Nino


  32. By brinnc on Apr 2, 2015 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff
    Not sure I follow you when you say how awful the drafts have been, I would say SK/BA have done a great job in the draft. Or are you saying the draft as in the past 20-25 years?

    SK has found gems in the later rounds, and has signedcrookie free agents who have made the roster and contributed, I would say that is part of the draft since a team only has so many picks and should have an idea of which players probably wont get drafted, so they save some money by signing them as a rookie free agent. You have to look at other teams as well, see how many successful picks they have compared to failures. And if you are talking only about SK/BA regime, cant really say one way or the other if it is a success or failure, it takes 4-5 years to truly grade a draft class, they havent been in charge of the draft that long so cant really say one way or the other, though SK has found some gems, I wouldnt say we have had any major flops, yes Injuries have derailed a couple of the high picks, but thats not fair to say they are a bust just yet, have to see what they do once healthy, mainly Cooper and Niklas, off the top of my head would have to be graded incomplete, for two reasons, injuries and time in the league, none of SK’s drafts can be fairly graded yet.

  33. By brinnc on Apr 2, 2015 | Reply

    I’m thinking our Cardinals are done signing free agents until after training camp and preseason roster cuts (other than camp bodies to get to 90 on the roster) now if one of the players they had in on visits and left with no contract comes back and realizes they obviously arent getting the money they thought they were worth, like a Nate Irving, may sign him if he goes unsigned much longer (may have signed elsewhere I havent checked the free agent signing tickercin weeks) but I think SK is going to hold on to what little bit of cap money he has so he can work his magic as the season gets closer, pulling a couple of older vets off the scrap heap on a 1 year prove it contract that he is so famous for, and sit back and watch his signings make major contributions!!! Other than rookie free agents after the draft, I just dont see SK signing anymore free-agents until roster cuts.

  34. By Andy Kw on Apr 3, 2015 | Reply

    Rod Graves should do the drafting, Keim should do Free Agency, and Arian’s should still be the coaching.

  35. By Safety Guy on Apr 3, 2015 | Reply

    thank you

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