Been…so…busy that boom-just realized the 2012 NFL free agent signing period is just four short days away. At midnight Tuesday morning and with almost (over?) $20 million in cap space (reduced by Matt Forte‘s franchise tag number), let’s hope the Bears can do some damage. Without turning into the 2013 “dream team” bust.
The more I think about it, the more I believe I might proclaim for the first time since 2007 that I really believe the Bears have a shot this season. IF they are able to wisely pick up a few more pieces.
I’d like to hear what everyone out there is looking/predicting to happen for the Bears starting Tuesday. Here are my thoughts on the team’s needs and potential signings:
The need is so obvious. The top name (San Diego’s Vincent Jackson) is obvious, and insiders have already been reporting that the Bears will be heavy players for him. But remember, if Chicago breaks the bank for one player it will limit what they can do to fill two other glaring holes. Other options are Robert Meachem of New Orleans or Mario Manningham of the Giants. But I think the dropoff from Jackson is pretty steep.
Especially given that average-talent warrior Israel Idonije is a free agent, the Bears must find an end to generate pressure across from Julius Peppers. But any player here won’t be cheap. An amazing prospect is available in Mario Williams, but no way are the Bears paying two Peppers contracts. Looks like (since Cliff Avril was franchise-tagged by Detroit) Atlanta’s John Abraham will be the next best option. But he’s aging and won’t come cheap. It would be nice to find a diamond in the rough here but that isn’t very likely.
A corner is a must since the Bears have three (Tim Jennings, Corey Graham, Zack Bowman) that are free agents. And there will be several good options available-most notably Carlos Rogers from San Francisco, Cortland Finnegan of Tennessee and Brandon Carr from the Chiefs. These are the top names, but remember the Bears’ defensive system does not place a premium on corners. Perhaps Terrell Thomas from the Giants or Marcus Trufant (last of Seattle) would be better bargains. Both would be upgrades from Jennings. This seems to be a good year for free agent corners, and the Bears need to sign or draft at least two urgently.
I think it’s quite possible that the Bears may draft an offensive tackle in the first round if the right player drops, and the ability to do so will be there if they take care of a top wide receiver in free agency. There are some solid players at guard available in free agency. The Saints’ Carl Nicks is the top name, but will command top dollar. Ben Grubbs from Baltimore is another. What about taking Scott Wells away from Green Bay, giving the Bears a younger center, and moving Roberto Garza back to guard for a couple more years?
Let’s hear your thoughts!