Chicago Bears free agency preview part one: the departing

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chicago bears free agency

 

Chicago Bears free agency is here! Yes, the NFL has succeeded in making themselves a year round sport. Well, close enough. Nothing goes on in June and training camps don’t open until very late July, but with NFL Draft now moved to May, you now have some NFL news to consume year round. Saturday is when Chicago Bears free agency begins.

Well, NFL free agency officially starts Saturday, as it’s the first day that NFL teams can start contacting their targets. Let the silly season begin.

(Update: Brian Urlacher thinks Hester could land in Tampa Bay)

Here’s part two: Chicago Bears free agency targets

Chicago Bears free agency: HE GONE!

Josh McCown– said he’d be willing to take a discount to stay put, so he is by no means out the door, but considering they’d have to triple his salary, and the fact that he could get much more money on the open market now…don’t get your hopes up.

Julius Peppers- yeah, hey, thanks for coming!

Devin Hester- officially gone. Simply cannot continue taking a big cap hit like this for a guy who doesn’t play an actual position in the offense or defense. (here’s a more detailed explanation about why he’s gone now)

“Free agency in itself is an overpayment situation, that’s why the union fought so hard to get it,” said ESPN NFL Analyst and former Indianapolis Colts GM Bill Polian on conference call yesterday.

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Michael Bush- like Marion Barber, Adrian Peterson (the other Adrian Petersen) and Chester Taylor before him, back-up tailbacks who just didn’t work out in Chicago

Peanut Tillman- Tillman’s age (he turned 33 in February) and injuries will be concerns, but he still has considerable value in the pass-happy NFL. He may be the best cornerback in Bears history. Not a NFL Hall of Famer like some Bears fans think he is, but still the best this franchise has ever seen.

“he’s probably affected more by system fit and the fact that he’s older, than injury situation,” said Polian

Defensive Linemen- The only starting defensive linemen from last season signed to contracts are Stephen Paea, Jeremiah Ratliff and Julius Peppers, who is certain to be released if he does not agree to a significantly reduced salary cap figure.  Henry Melton,  Corey Wootton, Nate Collins and Landon Cohen will need to be re-signed and/or replaced.

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Polian on Melton: “is a terrific three technique, albeit undersized, but in a Tampa 2 you can play with those guys. I don’t know if Marc and Phil think that he fits with them. And it’s always always always colored by the injury, injury history and the physical exam.”

Only three members of the Bears’ beleaguered secondary from last season are currently signed, Isaiah Frey, Tim Jennings and Chris Conte, the latter of whom will likely be a performance based roster cut.

The Bears also have a very inexperienced group of linebackers behind Lance Briggs, who will turn 34 during next season.  We propose releasing Briggs–or renegotiating his salary-for cap savings while recognizing that such a move is unlikely.

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Here’s part two: Chicago Bears free agency targets

Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on news talk radio; with regular segments on ESPN,NBCCBS and Fox. A former NBC Chicago and Washington Times writer, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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