As Mike Martz attempts to make the Chicago Bears’ offense resemble the offense he coached with the St. Louis Rams, he may be looking to sign one of his former players in St. Louis: Brandon Manumaleuna.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that multiple league sources say the Bears have a strong interest in Manumaleuna, a tight end whom the Rams drafted in 2001, when Martz was their head coach, and who has five years of experience in Martz’s offense. Manumaleuna played the last four seasons in San Diego and will become an unrestricted free agent on Friday.
As we noted when a similar story emerged about the Bears’ interest in Antrel Rolle, it would be tampering for the Bears to come right out and say they want Manumaleuna, but it’s easy for teams to get around the tampering rules by leaking word that they’re interested in a player.
Martz has said that a tight end’s first responsibility is to block, and if the Bears sign the 295-pound Manumaleuna, that’s primarily what they’ll ask him to do. The Bears signing Manumaleuna would also be another indication that the team’s incumbent starter at tight end, Greg Olsen, is not a good fit in Martz’s offense.
We don’t yet know which other teams
have already contacted Manumaleuna will contact Manumaleauna as soon as the clock strikes midnight Thursday night, but right now Chicago looks like his top suitor.