…and a hard stance with Olin Kreutz.
On Saturday the Bears signed former Cowboy running back Marion Barber and Texan defensive tackle Amobi Okoye. I like these moves-I actually thought “why not Barber?” when I heard Dallas released him. Clearly he should be a better goal-line back than Chester Taylor. And Okoye was an extremely promising prospect when he was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2007 draft. Houston’s switch to a 3-4 defense sealed his fate there, and he hasn’t quite set the league on fire.
Barber’s deal is for two years; Williams, Okoye and I believe Vernon Gholston have signed for just a year to prove themselves. Seems the Bears are swinging for the fences this year, and I like it. Even better, the short deals are smart business.
I don’t know whether the impasse with Olin Kreutz is smart business or not. As of this writing, the relationship may now be irrepairable. Clearly Kreutz’s skills have diminished in particular over the last three seasons, but the coaches and players still feel that he is a critical part of the offensive line. I have heard GM Jerry Angelo state in the past that he feels he has overpaid Kreutz in the past out of loyalty. Kreutz feels he has given the Bears deals to stay with the team. The sides are only (only?!) $500,000 apart, but it looks like it’s not going to get done.
Reminds me of the situation with veteran Jay Hilgenberg in 1992, who was shockingly traded to Cleveland during training camp. That proved to be the first of many wounds leading to disaster in that season.