Bears say they won't go "hog wild" in free agency

The Bears have joined the growing chorus of NFL teams that have declared publicly a desire to exercise restraint in the first season sans salary cap since the salary cap was first implemented.

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Bears president Ted Phillips said Friday that his team won’t go “hog wild” in free agency.

“I think you guys know our
strategy has always been kind of balanced in free agency and work
through the draft and every other area to try to add players to the
team,” Phillips said.  “It’s not all about free agency.  I think the reality that teams’
success, at least in the NFL, is not based on how much money you spend
in free agency.”

And so, by our count, there are now six that have declared, by talk of artificial caps or “building through the draft” or not going “wild” in free agency, an intention to be careful when it comes to spending money:  the Steelers, Bears, Lions, Buccaneers, Falcons, and Browns.  With the final four teams from 2009 (Colts, Jets, Vikings, Saints) having no choice but to ix-nay on the ee-fray agents, nearly a third of the league won’t be taking advantage of the lack of spending limits.

The actual number will surely be much higher, given that teams like the Packers, Bengals, and Cardinals historically haven’t spent a ton of money on free agents.

The real question is whether any of the other teams will go “nuts” or “wild’ or “hog wild” when it comes to buying up players in a market that isn’t nearly as deep as in past years.  The Raiders’ decision to pay $9 million guaranteed to kicker Sebastian Janikowski could be evidence of another attempt to spend their way into contention.  The Redskins traditionally have preferred high-priced veterans to reasonably-priced rookies, despite the fact that the approach hasn’t worked.  And the Seahawks could try to couple owner Paul Allen’s billions with Pete Carroll’s recruiting skills.

Still, with much confusion and uncertainty lurking regarding the rules that will apply once a new labor deal is in place, it makes no sense to unleash a Red Sox/Yankees strategy.  And so the uncapped year, which previously had been sold to the players as a very good thing, will likely be the exact opposite.
Though it undoubtedly won’t be enough to persuade the players to accept the league’s pending offer before March 5, as March 5 approaches there likely will be more than a few members of the union who’d prefer that 2010 unfold like every other past year of the free agency era.

25 responses to “Bears say they won't go "hog wild" in free agency

  1. that’s right the bears don’t need to spend any money on no talent free agents like peppers or dansby to improve the defense. the players just to be in their places . Lovie’s system is the best and has worked so great the last 3 years why do something stupid like add the best players to it?I mean the defense got them to the superbowl 3 years ago with him leading it right?oh wait nevermind but he and jerry know what they are doing.they raise ticket prices and annouce this?this is bringing back nightmares of watching them as kid in the 60’s and 70’s when they sucked every week.

  2. “Bears say they won’t go “hog wild” in free agency”
    I can’t remember the Bears ever going “hog wild” in free agency, so this is no surprise.

  3. Redsox/Yankees strategy didn’t work this year for the Vikings, Redskins, Patriots, Broncos or Cowgirls. So who’s to say that it will work in football at all. Unlike baseball, football is a team sport.

  4. “Hog Wild”
    Yes this is true they haven’t gone “Hog Wild” in previous years. BUT WHERE HAS THAT GOTTEN US? You say you wanna build through the draft but you just fired your scout. I don’t get it. I honestly don’t. It must be that Cubs mentality: don’t care if we win Chicagoans will come to the game anyway.
    As a southsider it pisses me off.

  5. He’s blowing smoke. His job and Angelo’s job are linked to having a successful off season. They indeed need to have a few winners in free agency and the draft.

  6. cosign joe…surprise, surprise. even though they should go after peppers and every other position except dt, c, and whatever side briggs is playing on.

  7. True the Bears never have gone hog wild in FA. Hell they barely going hog wild to try keeping thier own guys happy. They have no draft picks on the first day, the reason I felt they were able to part with so many picks in the Cutler trade is due to the fact that they don’t draft the best. So…. I honestly don’t know how the Bears can get any better this off season.

  8. “that’s right the bears don’t need to spend any money on no talent free agents like peppers or dansby to improve the defense”
    Peppers is a dog. Someone is going to look really stupid for signing him to a Haynesworth type deal. Sure he had 10.5 sacks, but is that worth a 100m deal? Don’t think so.
    Dansby, LB isn’t their problem, but just about every other position is.

  9. “balanced in free agency and work through the draft”
    Except that you have no fricking draft picks this year! Please add some talent!

  10. The Bears won’t do anything……..The real reason why is because the entire administration is on the way out, the Bears don’t want any more long term ties to any players. New decision makers will emerge next year, hopefully Bill Cowher is one of them. The next regime will look to bring in their own personell.

  11. I remember reading the Green Bay Packers’ financial statements when they were released a couple of years ago. They made money but two free agents would have eaten up all of that money pretty quickly. My feeling is that teams can’t spent a whole bunch above the cap because of the recession and owner finances. While I don’t doubt that the Bears are making money, can they afford to go nuts?
    Also, so you have one great uncapped year only to have to cut everyone the next year. It is makes sense if you are only a couple of pieces away but if you aren’t, you could be screwed.

  12. How have the Bears joined a “growing chorus”? That growing chorus stuff is to Florio’s own glory. If he’s wrong, he won’t tell us.
    My thoughts of Janikowski are that he booms, he bangs, he nails good FGs through the posts, low and hard. As an 11-yr old kid i spent my Arizona evenings during the offseason catching kicks from a Packer kicker, catch them, run back with the ball, standard little boy chores. To us, this rotating ball out of the sky seemed huge. But no. Janikoswki kicks would splinter my sternum. Look at all the goofball kickers that have failed their teams in the playoffs this last year. Imagine if Janikowski played for a good team. Deadly.
    Pay the man.

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