The first boring stretch of the NFL offseason comes to an end at 11 p.m. tonight when the free agent signing period commences. And it usually commences with a flurry of activity just after the clock strikes 11. Remember, the Bears signed Thomas Jones and gulp, Jonathan Quinn before sunrise in 2004.
No matter what happens with the Bears, I guarantee you one of two things will happen. You’re either going to be happily excited, or frustrated as all hell. No way will this free agency period be boring or uneventful for Bears fans.
Unfortunately–no, I can’t be a blind, Kool Aid-drinking overoptimist–I am afraid that it will turn out to be more to the disappointing side than exhilarating, unless there are serious changes to the Bears’ philosophy.
According to this morning’s Chicago Tribune, the Bears will most likely not be players for two of the top free agents at serious need positions for Chicago: guard Alan Faneca and running back Michael Turner. I’d also be surprised if Bear free agents Lance Briggs, Bernard Berrian and Brendon Ayanbadejo aren’t gone sooner than Friday evening.
The Tribune reports that the Bears won’t be major players for the aforementioned free agents because they’re concentrating on their own three free agents. But, since it’s highly unlikely they can keep any of their three, why are they precluded from pursuing the others?
A couple things are for certain. With gaping holes now at receiver, tackle and guard, the Bears must come out of free agency with at least one receiver and one guard or tackle. What I’m afraid of is that they’ll overpay for a Flozell Adams, said by some to be the worst Pro Bowl left tackle in history, and sign a has-been receiver or two to just plug that gap.
I hope I’m wrong. Happens all the time, and I’ll be happy to be wrong if that’s the case. Get your popcorn ready.