Bears Taking Many Flyers

…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.

3 Responses to “Bears Taking Many Flyers”

  1. Of course, the biggest difference with Hilgy is that they had a better replacement already on the roster with Jerry Fontenot, who had a solid career. The Bears don’t quite have that. The thing is, I agree with Angelo. They have been over paying Kreutz. I’ve been wanting a change the last three seasons. But, this is not the type of off season to be doing this. I also want to think if SF’s offer was that great, Kreutz would’ve bolted already.

  2. It is the Bears own fault that they are in this situation because they never bothered to draft or develop someone to take over for Kreutz. I guess project DL were more important to the front office. I think they need to (over)pay Kreutz this time. He is way past his prime, but the alternative is C. Williams or Garza at center…no thanks. I also wonder if any other team will be willing to pay more than the $4M the bears offered for an aging player who is on the downside of his career. I think there is still a decent chance of Kreutz returning. Reminds me somewhat of the Lance Briggs situation a few years ago – agent said he would never play for the Bears again, went on the open market, and ended up coming back to the Bears.

  3. In 1996 the Bears signed Ed Cunningham to replace Jerry Fontenot, then Fontenot ended up coming back under a one-year deal. I will have to hope there is a chance of this with Kreutz, but unfortunately it doesn’t sound like it. I agree his play has been slipping, but I agree with JDM that this is not the right time to lose him.

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