Do the Bears already have Brian Urlacher’s replacement?
When a team parts with one of the best middle linebackers in NFL history, every mock that’s mocked in April will give said team the best player available at the position when they’re on the clock in the first round. Of course, projections for who exactly should be selected differ, with draftniks yelling and slobbering. Or maybe it’s just me slobbering, but either way, there’s great anger.
Brian Urlacher was sort of pretty good in Chicago, and now after spending 14 years with the Bears he was released to seek employment elsewhere. That’s why this year, the Bears’ first-round direction seems abundantly obvious, especially since they’re slightly lacking in picks throughout the rest of the draft (their third rounder went to Miami as part of the Brandon Marshall trade, and a seventh rounder went to Tampa Bay for Brian Price).
But maybe the Bears have done enough offseason maneuvering already to decrease the urgency at middle linebacker, and they can address another need in the first round. Since I do intense investigative journalism around here, I asked Mike Burzawa from Bear Goggles On about Urlacher, and he kindly responded.
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The Chicago Bears have made a bit of splash in the free agency pool, signing TE Martellus Bennett and DT Jermon Bushrod. Despite Chicago’s obvious willingness to open their wallet for free agents, they have yet to make an offer to longtime Bears’ linebacker Brian Urlacher.
In fact, they haven’t even responded to Urlacher’s contract proposal (rumoured to be a 2-year deal) with a counteroffer.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Michael Silver, there are a handful of teams that are interested in acquiring Urlacher’s services.
According to a source familiar with Urlacher’s situation, there doesn’t seem to be a prevailing sense of urgency coming from Halas Hall as the official start of the 2013 league year approaches Tuesday afternoon. Urlacher, 34, received interest from several teams during the 87-hour “legal tampering” period that preceded the start of free agency, though it’s believed he prefers to remain with the franchise that drafted him ninth overall in 2000.
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Former Saints Left Tackle Jermon Bushrod reached an agreement with the Chicago Bears, according to a tweet from Adam Schefter. The contract is for five years and worth $36 million with $17.7 million guaranteed.
The Bears have been busy on the first day of free agency, signing former Giants TE Martellus Bennett earlier in the day. Bushrod made 62 starts over the past four seasons for the Saints and was thought the be New Orleans top target. Bushrod has a relationship with new Bears Offensive coordinator and line coach Aaron Kromer, who helped develop Bushrod in New Orleans.
The Chicago Tribune reported the Bears missed out on signing Phil Loadholt earlier in the day, but this is a massive signing for them. Chicago’s offensive line was an absolute mess last season.
Pictured: Bill Callahan not listening to Marc Trestman.
For the most unhinged commentary regarding the NFL, Pro Football Talk’s comment section is the place to go.
Last night the Chicago Bears ended their injudicious coaching search with a hire. Phil Emery’s exhausting interview process, which didn’t include the horrible ‘what’s your biggest weakness’ question, culminated in the hiring of Marc Trestman.
Aside from the Jimmy Johnson equals prophet comments, the commentariat at PFT were surprisingly sensible. I believe tangledupinblue12 said it best (kill me): “Oh no! Not an offensive innovator with a track record as a successful head coach!” Read the rest of this entry »
The Bears big victory over the Vikings came with a price. Six key players left today’s game with injuries, and these aren’t bit players. Matt Forte (ankle), Devin Hester (concussion), Peanut Tillman (ankle), Lance Louis (knee) and Chris Spencer (knee) exited Soldier Field due to circumstances out of their control.
The injuries to Louis and Spencer, two of the better players on an already porous offensive line, could spell trouble for Jay Cutler. The Bears QB returned from a one game absence and threw for 188 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Brandon Marshall amassed over 1,000 receiving yards on the season with a catch in the third quarter. The duo have powered the Bears to an 8-3 record. Whether Cutler can remain healthy is the ultimate question for Lovie Smith going forward.
Oh, add one more name to the walking wounded list:
When it rains..
The Chicago Bears got quarterback Jay Cutler back this week after he suffered a concussion against the Houston Texans, but they lost Devin Hester today due to the same injury.
Hester didn’t record a catch, and he had return one punt for six yards.
Cutler will now have to look to targets Earl Bennett, tight end Kellen Davis, and Evan Rodriguez if he wants to throw to someone not named Brandon Marshall.
You might not care to acknowledge it since you hate Jay Cutler so passionately, but you need him this week. You need him badly.
Not because you intend to start him, because if you’re in a standard league (i.e. not a two-QB league) and you’re starting Cutler in the second last week of the regular season for many leagues, you have an unquenchable thirst for anguish. No, you need him because you own Brandon Marshall, and with Jason Campbell under center Monday night he was only targeted four times after averaging 11 targets per game prior to Week 11. In fairness, Campbell was running around like a chicken who had its head severed, grew another one, and had it maliciously bludgeoned too. Still, even that’s not a sufficient excuse for a decline of seven targets.
Breathe easy, friend, because Jason La Canfora would like to continue the generous spreading of holiday cheer.
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