Kreutz’s depature could cause trouble in Bears locker room

Getty Images

During the lockout, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher made a strong pitch for the Bears to keep defensive tackle Anthony Adams and center Olin Kreutz.  Adams is coming back, Kreutz isn’t.

And safety Chris Harris, a PFT favorite for his pull-no-punches candor, took to Twitter to react to the news that Kreutz won’t be back.

Said Harris on Twitter, “Olin Kreutz departure won’t sit well in the locker room for a few days.”  Harris added that Kreutz is the “toughest player” that Harris has ever played with, and that he’s the “only guy I know who would play with a broken bone or multiple broken bones.”

G.M. Jerry Angelo seems to understand that there will be some short-term consternation, but he made it abundantly clear that he expects it to indeed be short term.  “It just lets you how revered [Kreutz] was,” Angelo said.  “You could put me first in line on that; he meant a lot to this football team.  But, there comes a time, where there’s going to be closure.  Nobody lives forever, nobody goes on forever.  That’s just the nature of the business.  This is the time. . . .

“[T]hey didn’t hire me to be loved,” Angelo later said.  “They hired me to make decisions based on what’s in the best interests of the team.  That’s what it’s about, people.  Come on?  This isn’t a wake. . . .  We’re sad, but nobody died.  We wish him the best.  He had a great career.”

Meanwhile, Kreutz’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, has pointed to a final offer from the Bears as the player’s reason for moving on, and moving out.  “The ultimatum [on Saturday] is ultimately what convinced Olin that they didn’t want him back,” Bartelstein told Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.  “For a guy like this, who has played 13 years in the league, to draw a line in the sand?  To me, it was like negotiating with a 4th-round draft pick.”

Angelo seemed to acknowledge that he told Bartelstein they needed to get the deal or move on, so that the Bears could pursue its options.  And that’s exactly what has happened.

Though Angelo’s words come off as little harsh, he’s right.  Each year, every NFL team must be willing to strip the name off the back of every player’s jersey and decide whether it’s in the best interests of the team, taking all factors into account including the player’s pay and the salary cap, to bring the player back.

UPDATE:  Kreutz now says he’s considering retirement after rejecting a one-year, $4 million offer from the Bears.  “That is a decision I am still making.  I am sure I will have an opportunity,” Kreutz told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.  “I am just not sure if I want to play for anyone else.”

68 responses to “Kreutz’s depature could cause trouble in Bears locker room

  1. ““only guy I know who would play with a broken bone or multiple broken bones.””

    Definitely a dig at Jay “Ouch I should sit down I think I pulled my labia” Cutler.

  2. Did it just dawn on Angelo in the last 3 months that Kreutz wasn’t good enough? Because if that isn’t the case, a smart GM would have drafted/signed a suitable replacement for him a LONG time before that. Now, the Bears have to start the season with a cluster**** of an O-line who have very little to no chemistry/continuity.

  3. May I be the first to say Krutz’s departure wont cause as many problems in the lockeroom as Jerry Angelo’s love affair with Mike Martz and the decisions that have been made this FA period has caused with the fan base…and as a Lions coming for that azz ladies I must admit, I’m loving EVERY minute of it as I sit here lmfao at every single roster move that you have made…VERY Millen-esque fellas rofl

  4. Kreutz was the only lineman keeping Cutler alive in ’10. I see more concussions, more sacks, and more QB injuries in ’11. Angelo better have his QB free agent list handy – by Nov. 14th he’ll need his 4th & 5th QB’s to be ready to start.

  5. Thirteen years in the league is exactly when you draw a line in the sand. And if he retires now, he’ proves them right. Better to play for less than to get nothing at all.

  6. As much as I liked Kreutz I am torn on this move. He wanted more than a 1 year contract worth 4-5 mil/year all the while he wasnt that good last year. But on the other hand he was a veteran leader who could teach a few things to our young and inexperienced line in Carimi, Webb, and Williams. Also he was well liked in the locker room. I hope JA knows what he is doing (i highly doubt that though). Cutler should punch JA in the face for letting go his oldest protection and his BFF (olsen)

  7. 1 more year, 1 more shot, $4 million. Knowing your career is over…priceless. Kruetz is an idiot. $4 mil is an insult, so I’ll take nothing. Whatever, the owners should have locked them out for the season.

  8. That’s the reason why players play, that’s what they’re paid for. If it were up to them they’d all have their own homies on the team no matter how old and washed up. GM’s are paid to do what they do, get the best players they can for what the budget dictates, period. Had enough of player’s they know better when they don’t know shizzle.

  9. I hope he retires so he can retire a bear. I cant see him play for any other team. Obviously though its his decision in the end

  10. Jerry Angelo is terrible and I wish he would go away. With that said, Kruetz hasn’t been a good player for several years. He should have taken the $4mil. And one more thing, Jerry Angelo is terrible.

  11. Kreutz now says he’s considering retirement after rejecting a one-year, $4 million offer from the Bears.
    Serious? Hello, McFly. I’m as big of an NFL fan as there is roaming this earth but something is jacked up and I think I know what it is.

  12. This shouldn’t happen. Kruetz is a Bear, and he should get to retire as a Bear. Just absolutely shameful that it came out like this.

    Go get him Vikes!

  13. When a player becomes a FREE AGENT, this is the time where both sides have the ability to decide what is best for both sides. If either wants to walk away, they have the right to do so. I don’t hear the same thing being echoed by teams like, ” Wow we paid that guy for 13 years, and he wasn’t even willing to take less to stay here. Who are we, the Bills?”.

  14. Dude must have saved his money if $4M isn’t enough to bring you back to play football…

  15. It’s a sad day for the Chicago Bears and their fans, but good all things must end. I would have liked to see him play for the Bears one more year, but you knew the end was coming, if not his year than definitely next year. It’s going to be strange not seeing 57 lead the break from the huddle. For a decade, Olin Kreutz was one of the best centers in the NFL and for that I will miss him. I wish you good luck Olin, in your future endeavors.

  16. I think this was more about future negotiations with other players than it was about Kreutz. Angelo has to make a stand at certain points to keep his hold on future offers. Its a bummer though I wish this happened with another player and not in such a weak position on the team.

  17. I wish someone would “disrespect” me by offering me $4 million a year. The offer the Bears made is fair market value for Kruetz – if it wasn’t, you would have seen other teams moving in quickly to make a better one.

  18. Hey Chris Harris I don’t know what bone Kreutz broke and played on but don’t forget about Donovan McNabb breaking his ankle on the third play against the Cardinals and setting a personal record for touchdown passes.

  19. hey Urlacher.. man up and reduce your pay so Kreutz can re-sign with the team. The dude is a BEAR… get it done.. you know your play has not been worth the pay lately

  20. Wrll look at the brightside…you bought yourself another year of bailing cutler out with the “no protection” excuse.

  21. He’s been a Bear forever, a bad line can’t get better without some turnover. He hasn’t played at a pro-bowl level in a couple years anyway.

  22. Also it was McNabb’s plant ankle that was broken. Imagine putting the full weight of your body on a broken ankle 20-30 times….I couldn’t do it, I’m guessing 99% of PFT readers couldn’t do it either.

  23. really goonna reject a 4 million offer, yet after last year allowing poeple to run through him like hes water, take the freggin money. its more money then most of the world will make in their lifetime. i’m glad hes gone, last year was a rough year watching him play, with all the horribly timed offsides calls and then not being able to block anyone, glad this chapter is over, its hard when you have a person whos been good for so long, you feel obligated to carry them for a while, even when they start becoming more of a henderence then helpful, maybe bring him back as a coach or something so ehe can still have a heavy presence in th lockerroom.. but glad he wont be playing out there this year. poor cutler was hammered somethign awful last year.

  24. I like Kreutz, but the O-Line has been bad for several years. Last I checked, the Bears gave up the most sacks in 2010. Plus, the last 4 QBs (Cutler, Orton, Grossman, Griese) all fumbled at least 1 snap at a critical time from Kreutz. I think people are getting carried away with all the talk about how great this guy is. That said, I hate Angelo…he’s a turd.

  25. Well. That takes a lot of positive I had about the offense this year. I figured a second year under Martz would’ve helped everyone.

    Here’s to 80 sacks to Cutler this year.

  26. Pro Football Focus ranked him 33rd out of the 34 centers who played in at least 25% of their team’s snaps. He had one of his best games in 2010 against the Giants, when Cutler was sacked 9 (!!!!!) times. Let’s not pretend that we’re talking about Nick Mangold here. $4 million was plenty, and if he’s healthy enough to play, he should’ve taken it.

  27. get over it guys, he chose not to take 4 million to come back and get pushed around by younger, stronger, faster guys on defense.never heard of the new guy but he can’t be as bad as the what kruetz played last year. and if he played hurt it sure did not help the club any judging by the sacks he gave up and 3 yards a carry forte got.

  28. One of the great players in Bears history. Because he plays on the offensive line he got less attention than his respective skills warranted.

  29. Only in the NFL can a guy be offered 4 mil and say “they obviously didn’t want me back”

    These guys really get their perspectives skewed.

  30. For where OK is in his career, 4M$ is a fair deal. He isn’t the player that he was a decade ago or even 5 years ago. Still solid, but not a superstar by any stretch.

  31. I’m guessing there a lot of people that feel it’s Angelo’s time to move on too. Unfortunately, the only opinion that matters when it comes to that decision is the owner. Plays hardball with the most beloved guy in the locker room and forces him out of town, trades away one of the few legit targets Cutler had, and signs the Cowboys castoff receivers. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you your 2011 Bears.

  32. Just stuff to complicated before everyone over reacts.

    1. Kruetz played 13 years over the last three years he has been pushed around first 10 he pushed people around

    2. They did not release him. He was a free agent and offered a fair deal for a 13 yr vet. Look around the league who is giving a 13 year center any more jack than that

    3. Kruetz though is a bad ass, a great leader, but is at the end of his career. It is going to happen saying we want an answer by a certain date or we have to move on only makes sense. If he waits two weeks and decides to retire as he mentioned the bears would be screwed.

    Olin please retire a bear we love ya.

  33. southridge23 says: Jul 31, 2011 8:48 PM

    Wrll look at the brightside…you bought yourself another year of bailing cutler out with the “no protection” excuse.
    Unfortunately for Cutler, it’s not just an excuse, it’s reality.

  34. Jon Jansen was a solid RT with the Skins and played one year with 2 broken thumbs. Said the toughest thing about having 2 broken thumbs was his wife had to wipe his ass for him. Nothing about playing in the NFL with 2 broken thumbs. He was a tough SOB and a fan favorite, but he got old and it was time to move on. Same with Kreutz I am sure. Its not personal its buisness.

  35. wow he turned 4mil down the way he played last couple of years he should of been glad to take that. can you say overrated

  36. It’s moments like this where the lockout has sucked. In a normal year there would have been time to work out a deal or Olin and the Bears would have agreed to split. There would have been a press conference on a slow news day and fans would have had a chance to show there appreciation of 13 years service. There would have been time to catch on with another team. The frenzy of the last week has robbed fans of the chance to show respect to veterans leaving their teams.

  37. I’m quite peeved about this situation, as a Bears fan. the gap was 500K, a decent amount, but not that much in the overall scheme of things. He’s been great for the locker room and is finally healthy.

    Look, I think all Bears fans have been chatting for awhile about replacing Kreutz … but you need a good guy to replace him with. Chris Spencer? Ugh. Also, Kreutz is finally healthy (well, healthier than he’s been in recent years). He was a leader in the locker room, a leader on the field, and a guy the coaches want.

    For 500 K, Angelo drew a line and said no? Clearly, they were fine with bringing him back.

    The selfish part of me hopes that Kreutz retires. He’s the one guy in the past decade that screams Bear to me, moreso than Urlacher. Kreutz was that hard-nosed guy, the guy who got people in line by most accounts. Having him be a career Bear would be nice. That said, I think he’s got a year or two left.

    I hope they revisit this and bring him back. Could shift Spencer into competition at guard.

  38. I’m a Vikings fan and have no love loss for Da Bears, but I have to say Olin Kruetz has been a class act his entire career. He’s one of those guys that it would be hard to picture in any other uniform. Maybe they’ll kiss and make up….. 🙂

  39. This is going to benefit the Bears. Kruetz carried too much weight in the locker room, having him around when he is washed up would just cause this rift during the season.

    Angelo’s a tool but this may work out ok.

  40. Thirteen year vet who’s already made multiple millions and won’t accept a 1-year deal for 4 million more f’ing dollars…cry me a river. I’d have cut his ass too…unbelievable.

  41. I have mixed feelings here fellows. First: who told you all that BS Angelo? The i’m a stupid, overbearing village-idiot of a general manager fairy?? Memo to you: stop making “kissy faces” everytime U look into a mirror.

    And second: Olin, I love ya bud, but is your ego so bruised over a few hundred thousand dollars? Cmon man!! Tell your agent to go make love with himself! I’d be happy to limp out on crutches & swing em like Samuri swords! for 4 million!!

  42. The Bears offered 3M, he wanted 5M. Bears said “we’ll give you 4M.”

    What, exactly, is unfair about that? HE left over $500K. The Bears upped their offer and he was too stubborn and just had to try to pee on their leg.

    Sorry Olin, it’s a year where players are replaceable. And given the amount of penalties on top of how terrible the line was last year…you, my friend, were replaceable.

  43. Like most Bears fans, I’m sentimentally attached to Kreutz after all these years — but his play no longer matched his rep. He was VERY rapidily diminishing from “leader” to “liability”.

    He’d false start (or hold) at the WORST times, get blown up in the run game (short yardage, especially — see the Haynesworth clip they’ve been replaying lately?)), botch an occasional snap, was a step behind on downhill plays, he’d miss assignments on delayed/safety blitzes, and was inconsistent in general pass protection.

    So, all intangibles aside, I’d rather have the performance on the field when it counts (now whether Spencer is the answer to that…I still have big doubts).

    But I think those people are right when it comes to the contract and pay — not only were the Bears more than fair with him, Kreutz could’ve easily let the 500K go in order to stay with his team, to stay in familiar surroundings, knowing the offense, and to finish his career and retire as a BEAR…not to mention staying on a team that’s “close” and giving it one more year.

    If his relationship with the players/team/city means as much as people think, why not sacrifice the (relatively) small amount?

    I think in the end many of you who are weeping, wailing, and gnashing your teeth, like this is the end of the world, may come to see differently, that this is probably a blessing in disguise:

    Better play at center, fewer penalties, and Jay takes over as unquestioned leader of the offense.

    But I get the mindset: better to dance with the devil you know than one you don’t.

    I guess we’ll see. Bear down.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!