Emery unveils new faces, addresses needs

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by short faced bear, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter

    2:29 p.m. CDT, March 12, 2014

    The Chicago Bears rolled out Lamarr Houston and Ryan Mundy on Wednesday at Halas Hall, introducing two of the newest members of the team’s defense.

    Houston and Mundy were half of the additions made Tuesday on the first day of free agency. The Bears also re-signed D.J. Williams, expected to be the leading candidate to start at middle linebacker, and added linebacker Jordan Senn, a special-teams standout.

    On Tuesday, they signed former Packers safety M.D. Jennings to a one-year deal.

    Houston was the big prize as he will sign a five-year, $35 million contract with $15 million guaranteed. Mundy comes in on a two-year contract.

    "The Monsters of the Midway are back," Houston said after being introduced.

    Houston, who said he was comfortable playing at 275 or 280 pounds, will wear No. 99 -- inherited from Shea McClellin, who is shifting to linebacker -- and said, "It's a number that you have to earn the right to keep."

    Speaking of the negotiations that landed Houston and Mundy, Bears general manager Phil Emery said: "It was a wild process this weekend. It was a lot of fun. You can't be timid."

    Emery said Mundy has "a wide-open opportunity to become a starter" in the Bears' secondary.

    The Bears still have holes remaining in the starting lineup on defense. The hope certainly has to be that the draft will provide top-level talent ready to contribute in 2014, but the Bears will need to fortify the roster with more work in free agency.

    Cornerback Charles Tillman and defensive tackle Henry Melton remain in the marketplace after backup quarterback Josh McCown agreed to terms with Tampa Bay. The Bears were allowing them to determine a market value before decision were made.

    Tillman visited the Buccaneers but that situation could have shifted after Tampa Bay signed Alterraun Verner. The Panthers could express interest in him.

    "It's an ongoing conversation," Emery said of the Tillman negotiations. "We'll see how that finishes up."

    Melton could be ticketed for the Cowboys, who created cap space Tuesday with the release of DeMarcus Ware. Melton also reportedly will visit the Vikings.

    Houston played college football with Melton at Texas and they are good friends.

    "I'm doing everything I can to convince him to stay here with me," Houston said. "We'll see how it turns out."

    Asked about Tillman and Melton, Emery said the Bears were "working through" their situations.

    "We've got some holes to fill," Emery said. "We've got a lot of work to do."

    Chances are Emery wants to take a step back and survey the market for a couple of reasons. First, the big spending that happened Tuesday will die down. Players still in the marketplace will have to adjust their goals and agents will have to recalibrate contract demands. Second, more options could become available -- the Seahawks reportedly have released defensive end Chris Clemons. So a little patience at this point could help.

    Asked whether defensive end Julius Peppers -- whose hefty contract was terminated Tuesday -- might return at a lower price, Emery said, "We're always open," but didn't sound optimistic.

    Of adding another pass rusher, Emery said, "We're going to be patient and see how it all works out."

    Emery said the team likely will re-sign backup tight end Dante Rosario.

    The Bears have a snug salary-cap situation but have mechanisms to create more room. At this point, it’s probably more about the cash budget and the team has spent big when you go back to the signing spree that began in the final week of December.

    The Bears need another starting defensive end and a starting cornerback along with additional depth and talent on the defensive line. The good news is that even after some of the top talent was signed at cornerback, there is still an abundance of players to consider and weigh against each other if Tillman does not return. Cap casualties might entice the Bears on the defensive line but it’s a process that will take time to play out.

    The Bears put free-agent safety Cody Grimm through a workout last week.

    Regarding the cornerbacks available in free agency, Emery said, "The draft has a lot more depth than what's available in the free agent class."

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...yan-mundy-introduced-20140312,0,1281715.story

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  2. omc1969

    omc1969 Veteran

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    Good read and pretty much spot on. Thanks for sharing.
    :)
  3. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    I like this quote from Phil in another article:

    “Whether you find out about it or not,” he told reporters, “there will be a number of workouts run through this building between now and before the start of the season. We’re going to keep looking at this roster, and if we find a skill or trait in a player at a position that is better than what we currently have, we’re going to sign him and we’ll release another player. We’re going to keep working the roster to improve the level of competition so we get better as a team.

    That part that I made bigger is key and how a team should be run. If you find a player who has better traits than a player you have you sign that player and release the other one. Bottom line, period.
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  4. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

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    But where is the loyalty???
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  5. omc1969

    omc1969 Veteran

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    Urlacher stole it. Wait.......What?
    :D
  6. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

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    I was going to post "Oh the humanity!!" but thought it a bit obtuse.
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  7. sluggobear

    sluggobear Veteran

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    The Bears are out to win a championship. I like the systematic way Emery is going about building the defense. If new additions are all better than or previous players not signed, then we are moving in the right direction.

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