Bears will need free agent help

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Arkush: Bears will need free agent help
    By HUB ARKUSH - harkush@shawmedia.com - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 8:33 p.m. CST

    Houston Texans linebackers coach Reggie Herring during an NFL football training camp practice Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip)
    Long before the Bears get around to the NFL draft, they will have to decide what participation, if any, they will have in NFL free agency, which will begin on March 11.
    On offense, they have to decide whether to retain backup quarterbacks Josh McCown and Jordan Palmer, and starting center Roberto Garza.
    On defense, Henry Melton, Corey Wootton, Nate Collins, D.J. Williams, James Anderson, Major Wright and Charles Tillman will all be free agents, as will punt and kickoff returner Devin Hester.
    It appears the Bears will attempt to keep McCown, but if another team is willing to offer him any more than $2.5 to $3 million a year on a multi-year deal, the Bears will probably allow him to walk and stick with Palmer. It is highly unlikely both will be back.
    Wootton is the only other one of their own free agents they will make a priority to retain, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Williams back too.
    They will then have one more decision to make before they plunge into the free agent marketplace. Are the Bears going to stick with the Tampa 2, one-gap defense, or will they switch to more of a base 4-3 two-gap defense or the 3-4?
    Many are assuming the addition of Paul Pasqualoni as defensive line coach and Reggie Herring as linebackers coach, according to The Score and FoxSports1's Alex Marvez, could signal a switch to the 3-4 because both have significant experience in that scheme. But both are also more than capable of coaching in the 4-3. So that speculation may be premature.
    Whatever scheme the Bears decide on, they are going to need at least one more starter at defensive end, at least one at tackle and probably one at linebacker, one cornerback and at least one or possibly two new safeties.
    They are not going to find five to seven new starters on defense, plus a center, young quarterback and kick returner all in one draft. So some participation in free agency is a given.
    Safety is a priority for the Bears and the draft crop is very thin. Jairus Byrd of the Bills, Cleveland’s T.J. Ward and Indianapolis’ Antoine Bethea are all Pro Bowl safeties and free agents.
    It’s not inconceivable Ward will get a franchise tag but it’s likely all three will hit the market, as well as the 49ers' Donte Whitner, New Orleans' Malcolm Jenkins and Philadelphia’s Nate Allen. Those three should be a bit less expensive. Any of the six would be a significant upgrade over Chris Conte or Major Wright.
    The problem with discussing defensive linemen is that most of the best 4-3 prospects are not good fits in a 3-4. But assuming the Bears stay with what they know, the Panthers' Greg Hardy, Bengals' Michael Johnson, Vikings' Jared Allen, Giants' Justin Tuck and Seahawks' Michael Bennett are the best 4-3 ends on the market. Hardy will likely either do a long-term deal in Carolina or be franchised.
    The Bengals franchised Johnson in 2013 and it’s hard to picture them tagging him two years in a row.
    As you may have heard, Bennett is Bears tight end Martellus Bennett’s brother and is having a very good postseason with the Seahawks. He did have 8 ½ sacks this season and five tackles for loss, and had nine sacks in Tampa in 2012. But he managed just six sacks total his first three years in the league and is not the double–digit sack pass-rushing threat the Bears need, desperately assuming Julius Peppers is a cap casualty.
    There are plenty of 3-4 tackles and ends to pick from with the Cowboys' Jason Hatcher, Packers' B.J. Raji and Dolphins' Paul Soliai the most interesting, but really no three–technique tackles to get excited about.
    If Tillman walks, Patriots' Aqib Talib and Falcons' Brent Grimes are the best corners available. But Talib is likely to stay in New England and Grimes is not an upgrade over Tillman.

    • Hub Arkush covers the Bears and pro football for Shaw Media. Write to him at harkush@shawmedia.com.
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I find this interesting, 1 I agree about McCown, more then 2.5, hell I think 2.0 is too much, and just let him walk, he's a guy, nothing special, the system and the players around him allowed him to exceed, not vice versa.

    Also considering DJ is over 30, it would go against the idea of getting younger, but he did play REALLY well before he got hurt, and he is well versed in 4-3/3-4 and multiple spots at the LB position so he is versatile.

    The rest of the article is nice, but you are talking about guys that the Bears might be able to get 1 of, and that will destroy their cap. Bears aren't getting Byrd if he's going to cost 9mil, which is what he wants. I would have liked to see if some lower end guys that would be more depth/potential starters, which is what I think they'll go after...2nd-3rd teir guys like Anderson/Williams and Slauson last year.
  3. mdbearz

    mdbearz Veteran

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    Both assitant coaches they brought in are know 3-4 guys, and the D-Coordinator has also coached 3-4, so why in the hell would they stay with a 4-3?
    It seems to me that the guys on the roster right now (not that many) do not mandate that we stay with the 4-3, and all those guys that we do have could play a role on a 3-4.

    I wonder why they don't just come out and say it? We need the FA 3-4 guys to know that Chicago is an option.
  4. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    I remember how people were disappointed when Philly selected Nate Allen in the second round of the 2010 draft. He was projected to go in the third round, we ended up drafting Major Wright.

    I'd definitely consider signing Allen if the price is right.
  5. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    To be fair MD, they all also know 4-3, it's not like they've only ever done 4-3. I see the team looking at doing a hybrid.
    DL: Bring back Ratliff who can do both a 3-4 and 4-3 DT, keep paea as his backup, Wootton has prove he can play inside in a 4-3 so he can be moved inside if necessary, and he can also play DE in a 3-4 or 4-3(imo) cut peppers, bring in another DE. Draft Nix or Jernigan(both could play both, and I really think Hagemans gone before 14 at this point anyways). Draft another DE in the first 4 rounds
    LB: re sign DJ Williams, who can play 3-4 and 4-3 ILB and OLB. Move Briggs to inside for 1 year, draft another LB in the mid rounds
    CB: gotta take a CB in the 2nd round to find one of any quality, bring back bowman and bring in another FA fr depth.
    S: need to draft 2 S's in the draft AND bring in another one via FA.

    DE: Wootton, FA, Bass, Rookie, Corny
    DT/NT: Ratliff, Paea, Nix/Jernigan, Wootton
    OLB: Bostic, Shea, Greene, Corny, Bass
    ILB: DJ, Briggs, Rookie, Bostic
    DB: Jennings, FA, Bowman,Rookie
    S: Conte, FA, FA, rookie, rookie.

    You now have a compliment of 4-3 and 3-4 players and you can more easily disguise packaages.
  6. 4dabers

    4dabers Veteran DBS Writer

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    Wait a minute...Hub Arkush says "Bears will need free agent help"

    Hmmmmmm

    4DaBers says "YA THINK!?"

    Way to go out on a limb there HUB! Did you need a few of your inside sources to enlighten you on that lil nugget of wisdom, or did you come up with that one all on your own? :)
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  7. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    LOL. Exactly. There's only so much you can do with a handful of draft picks.....and once you get beyond the 3rd round, there's probably not going to be any starters for day-1 anyway. Although on a long shot that can happen (Mills). We have over 20 of our own FA's unsigned too. There should be plenty of potential FA guys lining up at Halas Hall soon :)

    [​IMG]
  8. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Switching to a 3-4 defense takes the heat off of re-signing Melton this off season as he would not fit the NT role. Guess you could argue 3-4DE for Melton but not proven so once again no pressure to resign. Wont feel no heat til end of next season if at all. Next yr they will either be a genius or idiots. Interesting Dallas switched to 3-4 and they had worst statistical Defense in the league. Hopefully with all the openinngs we have and IF WE DO CHANGE TO A 3-4, we can make the transformation better than Dallas.
  9. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    i think kiffen had more to do with that then the 3-4 did
  10. mdbearz

    mdbearz Veteran

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    I think you might be on to something about the ability to also go with a hybrid. We could try to get some of the players back that we had last year, but only if they really fit the strategy.

    To be honest I do not know much about a hybrid style defense, but I can only assume that it is the ability to call different approaches based upon the situation.
  11. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    It all will come down to our talent. If we have mediocre talent, then we're screwed no matter what scheme we run. The pressure is on Emery now to deliver talent.
  12. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I think NO's made a pretty seemless transition to a 3-4, it can be done.
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  13. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I agree Ric. I guess I'm not as excited as some here about going to a 3-4. I'm okay with it. I am mostly excited to see if Emery can perform well in restocking the cupboard with talent on defense. If it's for a 3-4, I'm good with that. If we stay in a 4-3, I'm fine with that too. We just need some young studs brought in through the draft. And certainly Emery will need to add some FA talent also. But our future on defense will mainly depend upon how well he drafts this year. The draft is the heart and soul of a solid team that plans on maintaining winning over a span of years.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
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  14. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    Dallas has been in a 3-4 for a while...since Ryan was their DC, who also happened to be the DC in NO this year. Dallas's problem is talent....not coaching.
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  15. Ojibway Bob

    Ojibway Bob Veteran SuperFan

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    lol no Dallas's problem is its Owner/President/GM/Coach know it all... Jones should just watch and keep quiet and let some1 else run the team
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  16. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    Well...he is in charge of putting the talent on the field...no?
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  17. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    +1

    And it is a classic example of how a franchise under-achieves when there are too many talent misses. They've gone through a small army of coaches down there & have a billionaire owner who spends money on FA's as if it's Monopoly money.

    But with poor talent evaluation/acquisition it really doesn't matter who coaches the players, or what schemes you run. I don't believe most Bears fans fully appreciate this fact.

    As much as I like (and am excited) about Trestman as our head coach, I understand that he is not the primary key to success here in Chicago. Emery is the primary key (and his scouting department). Certainly you need a solid coaching staff, and not just the head coach, but rather a solid staff from top-to-bottom.

    But if you have mediocre talent coming in through the draft pipeline, you're probably not going to sustain success, or even achieve short term success for that matter. I am beyond curious and excited about this draft. I want to see if Emery knows anything about defensive talent. He's proven that he knows the offensive side of things, and he's done a wonderful job of building a good offense, talent-wise. But he hasn't proven squat yet on defense. So far, we're seeing the defense-equivalent of the Angelo/Lovie offense years. Not much good there yet. They've also bet the farm this upcoming season on Mel Tucker. I'm watching to see if he is "who they think he is" as far as a DC. I'm not ready to "crown him" yet though.

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
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  18. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    Case in point, Dallas just signed a kicker to a 7 year 22.5 million dollar deal...a kicker!
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  19. Ojibway Bob

    Ojibway Bob Veteran SuperFan

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    And that is what I meant....he has the money but not the know how to run a team...what we need is someone like him the take over the Packers to run it in the ground
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  20. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Good point. Regarding the Packers, we have the unfortunate (down right rotten) luck, to be in the same division with them. They have a model now in place that makes it possible for them to sustain success over a long period of time. My hope is that we have (finally) fixed our franchise so that we can climb past them, and have some sustained success of our own. As a franchise, we've been like a football version of a highly-dysfunctional family in the modern Super Bowl era. We have some limited success (1985) but obviously we haven't won a Super Bowl in over a quarter-century.

    I don't see Green Bay ever becoming a dysfunctional franchise like Dallas is, or like we were for many years. The bar for success in the division won't be lowered. We have to learn how to get over the bar that Green Bay has placed pretty high. They will be a tough team to beat, unless we can "get over the bar" at some point.

    It begins with Phil Emery and the scouting department. The coaching staff is critically important (this includes Mel Tucker too). For us fans, it's time to sit back and see if Emery & Company has the gears to overtake the big dog in our division - Green Bay. Talk is cheap. Let's see how the team performs. I'm tired of only having that one old dusty Lombardi Trophy from long ago. I'm actually getting tired of us trotting out the old players (the ones who are still alive) and pointing to them as our "greatness" here in Chicago, because frankly, it's embarrassing to have gone so many years with so many poor teams, coaches & players. As much as I love Da Coach, even he is an old guy falling asleep on TV, or reviewing the wrong teams that aren't even playing. We just had an 8 win season, ending the year on two losses. We are the very definition of mediocrity. Time to see that change for the better. But we'll have to climb past GB to do anything I think. Gotta be good to beat the good ones.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014

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