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Bears don’t have a lot of key free agents

NFC Championship Football

Coach Lovie Smith said Monday there’s “no reason” to start breaking up the Bears.

It will be easier for Smith to to keep his team together this offseason than most.  Chicago has 16 players likely headed for unrestricted free agency, which is a low number in this unusual offseason.  Few are key players.

If anything, the Bears just need to have a good draft because this roster is still lacking quality young players, especially on defense.   With a lot of help from Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com, here’s a look at some offseason priorities for Chicago.

1. Tommie Harris and Olin Kreutz

Two veterans not coming off their best seasons.   The Bears have no logical replacement for Kreutz and figure to bring him back — he’s a free agent.

Smith said on Monday he expects Harris to return, but it’s believed the team owes him a $2.5 million roster bonus in June.  That’s a lot to pay for a guy with virtually no production and a varying role in 2010.

2. Defensive free agents: Defensive tackle Anthony Adams, safeties Danieal Manning and Chris Harris.

Compared to most teams, the Bears have a small list of key guys to re-sign.  Adams had a strong year in 2010 and Manning was approached about an extension during the season.  If Harris goes, 2010 third-round pick Major Wright will have to step in.

3. Linebacker and offensive line depth

Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher are the only guys under contract next year at linebacker.  Like so much of the roster, the Bears have struggled to add quality young talent at this position for a while.

The team’s offensive line improved during the season, but they can’t be satisfied with their talent level overall.

4. Backup quarterback

Caleb Hanie is a free agent, and may have made himself some money against the Packers.   Mike Martz never seemed to embrace the guy, so he could be gone.

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29 Responses to “Bears don’t have a lot of key free agents”
  1. cnelson13 says: Jan 25, 2011 10:55 AM

    Bears have 18 free agents, not 15.

    Unrestricted FAs

    95 Anthony Adams DT
    36 Josh Bullocks SS
    88 Desmond Clark TE/FB
    10 Todd Collins QB
    81 Rashied Davis WR
    21 Corey Graham CB
    52 Brian Iwuh OLB
    57 Olin Kreutz C
    38 Danieal Manning SS
    4 Brad Maynard P
    53 Nick Roach OLB
    59 Pisa Tinoisamoa OLB
    58 Rod Wilson OLB
    25 Garrett Wolfe RB

    Restricted FAs

    19 Devin Aromashodu WR
    12 Caleb Hanie QB

    Exclusive-Rights FAs

    32 Kahlil Bell RB
    70 Edwin Williams G/C

  2. universalcynic says: Jan 25, 2011 11:09 AM

    I don’t care what happens, he needs at least two more WRs.

  3. philtration says: Jan 25, 2011 11:17 AM

    They need a DT, some help on the O line and a big WR that can battle for the ball.

    I want Tommie Harris gone.
    He has done next to nothing for a long time now and was well paid for it.

  4. ohioraider says: Jan 25, 2011 11:28 AM

    The Bears need a better offensive line and wr’s. By the time the bears get those, they will need a new defense. Then by the time they get their defense fixed they will have to worry about offense again. Its a never ending cycle

  5. wutthecrapman says: Jan 25, 2011 11:38 AM

    Looks like a one and done year for Da Bears.

  6. cappa662 says: Jan 25, 2011 11:41 AM

    Bears need to upgrade the O-line for sure. But also they need to look at improve the DB positions as well. And lastly, get a big receiver ***Plaxico or TO***.

  7. deepbacksidedig says: Jan 25, 2011 11:45 AM

    QB.

    Cutler can’t /won’t even do a Dilfer.
    Un-manageable.
    He either blows up, gives the ball/game away
    or watches the team lose from the bench.

    The guy has got to go. Until then,
    nevermind.

  8. cmstrick says: Jan 25, 2011 11:51 AM

    I thought I heard this morning that Tommie Harris was retiring(?)

  9. cmstrick says: Jan 25, 2011 11:52 AM

    Nah, scratch that. Must’ve been thinking about someone else…

  10. oldbyrd says: Jan 25, 2011 11:53 AM

    Somebody grab Todd Collins ….quick

  11. beardown4me says: Jan 25, 2011 11:54 AM

    Bears will resign Anthony Adams DT, Rashied Davis WR, Brian Iwuh OLB, Olin Kreutz C , Danieal Manning SS, Nick Roach OLB, & Brad Maynard P to 2-3 year extensions. They will be able to resign these guys for a reasonable buck. The Bears will sign one offensive linemen during free agent period and maybe a wide receiver as well. There will be a hard cap when this upcoming season ever begins, so reality is now going to set in. Back to beginning those cheap Bears! This is code word for another ticket price increase in 2011! Won’t be shocked!!

  12. Celsior says: Jan 25, 2011 11:58 AM

    Unfortunately, despite his injury, Cutler will never be able to live down the perception that he’s a detached quitter. The current Bears organization is capable of only getting to a Super Bowl, not winning it. They should try to deal Cutler, and make Caleb Hanie the starting quarterback.

  13. FinFan68 says: Jan 25, 2011 12:27 PM

    Lots of Bears fans baggin’ on Cutler lately. Send him to Miami and we make the playoffs. I know he throws too many picks, but so does our guy Henne…at least Cutler makes a few plays to go with the picks.

  14. tramonwilliams38 says: Jan 25, 2011 12:46 PM

    Is it true, Jay Cutler and Vince Young are going to be roomates? Not a good idea with the two most depressed and whiny qbs out there today!!! Mtv sees big money in this situation!!! Could you see it now? Vince wakes up first and starts eatings Jays fruit loops and Jay catches him and throws a magazine at him in frustration and the dog intercepts it before hitting Vince. Jay then does his little whiny face the whole day and locks himself in his room!!

  15. deepbacksidedig says: Jan 25, 2011 12:55 PM

    Bear fans digging down what you don’t want to hear?
    Bear fans a little soft are you? Maybe the sensitive type?

    You Bear fans have watched a parade of morons like no other in the NFL at QB , costing you any prayer of victory since 1986.

    You should be world class experts in the art of spotting a bum, but you refuse to see that Cutler , when you needed him the most,
    watched from the bench, pouting?

    And you slash anyone down for having the gall to state the obvious?

    Bear fans are soft. Like their QB.

    Maybe a big group hug will make it better, schedule a session on Oprah. Big group cry.
    ************
    In the NFC Championship, that bum watched his team, your team lose, from the bench, pouting.

    What more could you possibly need to see?

  16. rockinron2 says: Jan 25, 2011 1:02 PM

    I don’t understand all of this talk about making Hanie the starter. He played just over a quarter of football and had 2 picks. One to a 300+ pound lineman that would be hard to miss and the 2nd into triple coverage. If Cutler had made those picks he would be getting torn apart, so expectations are very different for the 2 of them.

    That said, he does look to have some potential, but he needs a lot of work. He didn’t look too good in the preseason.

    I think you give Cutler another year with Martz. He has had 4 different OC in 4 years. Give him another year of consistency to see if things click. The Bears finally have a QB that has some talent. Let them try to develop it instead of turning no-talent hacks into QBs like they have for the past 10 years.

  17. daCoach says: Jan 25, 2011 1:06 PM

    Chris Harris isn’t a free agent.

    The bears need O line help and a tall WR or they could just give Aromashodou another chance. Other than that I would just draft best available to make the roster a little younger.

    I would never give up on Cutler. Before the season people said he never had a winning season. Now that he has a winning season and led them to the nfc championship people say he is a quitter for not playing through a torn MCL. Give me a break! This guy played all year in front of the worst pass blocking line in the league. Give him some more protection and another year in Martz System and they will have one of the better offenses in the league.

  18. chobes68 says: Jan 25, 2011 1:07 PM

    have a good draft, HA. only way that’s happening if Angelo isn’t involved.

  19. chobes68 says: Jan 25, 2011 1:11 PM

    oline, wr who will post up and fight for ball, and depth on d. love to see a good cb through fa. st would be nice, but if they found a solid you de, I would throat Israel inside.

  20. chobes68 says: Jan 25, 2011 1:18 PM

    love all the idiots still nagging on Cutler. did you not get the message on his knee? did you not get the whole and true story? too many tend to blindly follow media types who dont like Cutler because he can’t stand the media. as much as he was punished behind that line this year, he’s no wimp. funny people bagging on him, prob the same who call off work because of a sore throat. is he maddening with some of his throws, no doubt, but a wimp he is not. all the mouth breathers calling for him to get traded should look around at most other teams qb situation. hanie was great Sunday, with three td passes, including two to his own team. the meatheads certainly loved Cutlers heart the previous week.

  21. ch0rn says: Jan 25, 2011 1:23 PM

    How many people thought the bears would be in the Championship game, let alone even have a winning season this year ? Not many.

    Cutler may still be making some mistakes, but he is improving every week. It’s not all his fault he was sacked 50 some times. Get cutler some protection and he will improve.

    The Bears lost to one of the best teams in the league in the Championship game and everyone is acting like they are the Panthers. Cutler played pretty well this year considering what he has to work with. Give him and Martz another year to work together with an improved Offensive line then judge them. There was improvement all year this year, except the Packers games (who make a lot of QBs look bad)

  22. philtration says: Jan 25, 2011 1:43 PM

    deepbacksidedig says: Jan 25, 2011 11:45 AM

    QB.

    Cutler can’t /won’t even do a Dilfer.
    Un-manageable.
    He either blows up, gives the ball/game away
    or watches the team lose from the bench.
    ====================================
    Other than a ton of talent, the difference between Cutler and Dilfer is that Cutler does not like the D-bags that rant on TV about players that are better than they were while Dilfer is one of those D-bags.

  23. tobiaslane says: Jan 25, 2011 2:37 PM

    Bears should let Tommie Harris go when you can plug Harrison in. They do have some depth there, but if Drake Nevis from LSU is there when the Bears pick they take him. Of all the FAs listed above then you go with Manning (if not for the return abilities) and Harris. There seems to be more special teamers that are FAs which can be shore up by the draft or undrafted FAs. Kruetz should be back next year, but they need to draft his replacement. If above said Nevis is off the board, but Pouncy is then they should take Pouncy. He could play Guard until Kruetz is gone then shift over to center. It’s a pretty good consensus among Bear fans that the offensive line is where they need to focus. Angelo should make a last attempt to see if NE is interested in trading Mankins, but the draft should be the way to go. Angelo might finally swallow his drafting pride and look more at the line. Another position that needs an upgrade is CB and S. Could Angelo pull a Ted Thompson and trade a 2012 pick to move up and draft Casey Matthews. Matthews would add to an already stellar LB group or do they focus on Greenway (granted he’s not franchised by Minn) in FA. Of course, the uncertainty of the labor situation makes this all moot.

  24. jc1958coo says: Jan 25, 2011 2:37 PM

    keep the GM , keep the coach, keep cutler and the packers will KEEP going to the super bowl !!!
    lol

  25. granadafan says: Jan 25, 2011 4:43 PM

    The Bears are close. They need to draft some OL to give Cutler some time to throw. They could also use some depth at linebacker and corner.

  26. deweyaxewound says: Jan 25, 2011 5:14 PM

    deepbacksidedig says:
    Jan 25, 2011 12:55 PM
    Bear fans digging down what you don’t want to hear?
    Bear fans a little soft are you? Maybe the sensitive type?

    You Bear fans have watched a parade of morons like no other in the NFL at QB , costing you any prayer of victory since 1986.

    You should be world class experts in the art of spotting a bum, but you refuse to see that Cutler , when you needed him the most,
    watched from the bench, pouting?

    And you slash anyone down for having the gall to state the obvious?

    Bear fans are soft. Like their QB.

    Maybe a big group hug will make it better, schedule a session on Oprah. Big group cry.
    ************
    In the NFC Championship, that bum watched his team, your team lose, from the bench, pouting.

    What more could you possibly need to see?
    _______________________________

    Something besides the top of your mom’s head when I look down?

  27. deweyaxewound says: Jan 25, 2011 5:24 PM

    Let’s all keep a little perspective here, and not allow the obsessive dolthole-ish Cutler-bashers with their petty little axes to grind (see above–I suspect most of these are the bitter, scorned, jilted, psycho-exgirlfriend-like Denver fans that STILL cry themselves to sleep at night over Jay’s wise defection) to cloud up the reality of the situation.

    Jay Cutler in Year 1 with the Bears:

    New team, new city, new coaches, new system, horrendous o-line, horrible OC/play-calling, young, inexperienced WRs, injured RB, injured defense not playing to its usual level.

    Result–mediocre to poor season. Tons of picks, tons of sacks, losing record, no playoffs.

    Jay Cutler in Year 2 with the Bears:

    Familiarity with team, but STILL a new system and OC, still a craptastic o-line, WRs are a tad bit better and more experienced, RB is finally healthy, becomes slowly acclimated to system/play-calling.

    Result–division title, winning record, playoff appearance with one stellar outing, NFCCG appearance.

    Jay Cutler in Year 3 with the Bears…we’ll see.

  28. jarrman46 says: Jan 25, 2011 9:04 PM

    The Vikings are probably at Cutlers house right now trying to lay out the retirement plan. Careful what you wish for Bears fans.

  29. goldsteel says: Jan 25, 2011 10:40 PM

    The Bears should consider resigning Caleb Hanie. He was the best quarterback for the Bears in the championship. I question Mike Martz’s playing calling toward the end of the game. It appeared he outsmarted himself again.

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