Bears 2011 free agent thread...and moves
thought good to keep in one thread:
Manning likely to test free-agent market March 4
Bears' offer of a 3-year extension during season wasn't to liking of safety-returner
Before this season the Bears vowed to "invest'' in at safety, but they never promised to break the bank in the process. Manning was a restricted free agent last offseason and staged a mini-protest before signing a one-year, $1.176 million tender. Starting free safety Chris Harris, who has one year left on his deal, made $2 million this season after a trade from the Panthers.
It's not as simple as re-signing them all. The new CBA is expected to bring with it a salary cap, which didn't exist this year. It could be lower than the nearly $128 million it was at in 2009. Graham earned $1.101 million this season. Davis was at $935,000. Wilson was the lowest of the bunch at $545,000 as the group's salary totaled more than $4.5 million. Eventually the backups who stock special teams need to be replaced with players on their rookie contracts. Balancing experience with salary will be a challenge.
Graham doesn't want to think about just special teams, either. He estimates he got less than five plays on defense as a dime back. He started nine games in 2008 and would like that chance again.