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Contract year Bears can’t get comfortable

A. Okoye Getty Images

Florio told you on Thursday to beware the Bears.

One reason Chicago could be more dangerous than expected this year: They have a hungry roster. Dan Pompeii of the Chicago Tribune wrote an interesting piece on how many Bears are fighting for their livelihood on a daily basis.

The numbers:

17 players have contracts expire at the end of the year, including eight starters.

8 of those 17 players signed one-year deals with the team, veterans like Amobi Okoye.

14 players on the roster weren’t drafted.  5 undrafted rookies made the team.

15 players have been cut previously in their NFL career.

I would need to see the average numbers of teams around the league in these categories to see them in context, but the totals sure seem high.

“I’ve bounced around enough to know that every opportunity could be your last. I make it a point of telling myself before every practice that I’m going to leave it all out there today,” defensive end Nick Reed said. He was out of football last year.

Veteran Anthony Adams says a lot of his teammates aren’t trying to win friends in practice.  They are trying to win jobs that they already have.

Perhaps the Bears have hit upon a good way to avoid complacency with a team that experienced surprising success a year ago.

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16 Responses to “Contract year Bears can’t get comfortable”
  1. seanmmartin says: Sep 16, 2011 8:44 AM

    A mushroom walks into a bar. The bartender turns to the mushroom and says, “Hey, we don’t serve mushrooms, I’m sorry.” The mushroom, visibly upset, returns to the bartender, “Hey c’mahn, I’m a fungi!”

  2. jw731 says: Sep 16, 2011 9:08 AM

    Beware of the guys not good enough to get long term contracts……Yeah, makes for a dynasty….

  3. jimmysee says: Sep 16, 2011 9:08 AM

    As a lifelong Packers fan going way back to Super Bowl 1 and beyond, never underestimate the Bears.

  4. fcs34 says: Sep 16, 2011 9:20 AM

    So Angelo being a semi-retarded cheapskate is actually a postive? Wow, whatever works I guess.

  5. bg0lden says: Sep 16, 2011 9:24 AM

    The problem with this, though, is that a perception is being created that the Bears don’t take care of their own. They let Kruetz go over a matter of half a mil when they were already thin on the O-line; their play-making RB is having difficulty getting an extension; and Briggs is overly vocal about wanting to change his contract. Eventually, this strategy of picking up cheap players who failed in other systems and undrafted free agents will catch up with them when they are simply less talented then other teams and are unable to attract valued free agents at positions where they might need them. I fear that the Bears may not be too far from another long dark ages like they had in the 90′s.

  6. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Sep 16, 2011 9:28 AM

    Contract year or not you should always go out everyday and and earn your keep. If Angelo was smart enough to actually come up with this as a strategy I’d be shocked.

    If the Bears play well this weekend then they are for real. Of course if they win we’ll hear it’s because of all the Saints WR injuries ;)

    Urlacher will be playing with fire in his eyes (and understandably some tears) that’s for sure.

  7. jutts says: Sep 16, 2011 9:38 AM

    That’s not the case “bgolden”. Kruetz could have stayed and made 2 Million more than he is making in N.O.. He was just being stubborn, and I’ll bet he’s kicking himself in the ass every day. He and his agent are dumb….Period

  8. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Sep 16, 2011 9:57 AM

    @jimmysee … same here ;) My jersey has Piccolo on the back so I go back a ways too.

    Last year having three games separated by one score is good ol’ Black n’ Blue football.

    Have fun with Newton this weekend :|

  9. bombacim says: Sep 16, 2011 10:07 AM

    The Bears knew what they had in Kreutz and it wasn’t enough. Did you see him get blown up on that final play last week in Green Bay? He may be a leader in the locker room, but sometimes those leaders cause distractions because their play isn’t at par anymore. The Bears gave him a generous offer and he ended up taking half with the only team that wanted him. Oh well. It’s a business and Angelo knows that. I suspect the players that deserve the increase Forte, Chris Harris, Garza will get theirs by the end of the year. There is a reason they are so much under the cap.

  10. baned0n says: Sep 16, 2011 10:20 AM

    Even if the Bears win this week, they’ll still be underdogs next week to GB. So they can still hold onto the “no respect” card.

  11. smoothjimmyapollo says: Sep 16, 2011 10:45 AM

    “If the Bears play well this weekend then they are for real. Of course if they win we’ll hear it’s because of all the Saints WR injuries ;)”

    Unless a team goes 0-4, you really can’t judge a team by the first month of the season. For example, the 03 Vikings started 6-0 and missed the playoffs. The 04 Packers started out 1-5 and won the division.

    It generally takes time for teams to gel and/or identify their own weaknesses and find ways to overcome them. Plus, it usually takes a few weeks to get good scouting reports on opponents (perhaps longer if a team has a new coach and a lot of new personnel). Also, teams are sloppier in the first few games (see Packers vs. Bears 2010 Week 3). It doesn’t mean the Bears will be good or bad (I suspect bad, but we’ll see) or the Steelers will lead the league in turnovers (I suspect they won’t).

  12. jonathanedwardk says: Sep 16, 2011 11:02 AM

    This type of mentality spreads like wildfire. With this the Bears are stronger than last year.

  13. Rex Grossman says: Sep 16, 2011 11:33 AM

    “Moneylessball” starring Robert DeNiro as Jerry Angelo, and Tom Hanks as Coach Lovie Smith.

    The story of how one team shocked the league and the nation by telling almost half of their team to go eff themselves, igniting a special attribute overlooked by every franchise since the NFL’s inception…the desire, will, and courage of a young black man to get money, and get paid.

  14. johnnyjagfan says: Sep 16, 2011 11:40 AM

    Kreutz said yesterday that the offer the Bears made him was “more than fair.”

  15. asublimeday says: Sep 16, 2011 12:35 PM

    The only one surprised by their success last year and “expecting” them to be bad this year was you, rosenthal.

  16. asublimeday says: Sep 16, 2011 12:43 PM

    Kruetz is going to give up 2 sacks and 3 tackles for a loss this weekend. Goodbye old man. Thanks for the memories!

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