Posted by: thescoundrel | March 3, 2008

The Good News Bads News Chicago Bears Update


There is a saying that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. I suppose that the Chicago Bears are hoping that saying also covers NFL free agency. The free agency period has just started and they have already had both good news and bad news. First the good news! Linebacker Lance Briggs, the player who started last season with a chip on his shoulder because the Chicago Bears had limited his free agency value by tagging him as their franchise player and who had claimed that the 2007 season would be his last played as a Chicago Bear, has had a change of heart (the big money contract – $13 million guaranteed – he received might have had some influence on this transformation) and resigned with the Chicago Bears for six years. Now for the really bad news! Over the weekend their top wide-receiver, Bernard Berrian, signed with conference rival the Minnesota Vikings (BOO!). The losing of Berrian and the previous Bears move to release Mushin Muhammad creates huge holes in the Bears wide-receiver corps. Considering the NFL team salary caps, losing Berrian was a very high possibility especially after what it cost to keep Briggs. Another factor in the Bears decision not to out bid rivals could have been the Grossman/Berrian XFactor. Berrian sparkled infinitesimally better when Grossman was at the QB position than when the Griese or Orton was leading the offense. Grossman and Berrian had a huge chemistry when on the field together. This could have been a weaning process for both players giving them both the chance to prove they can standout as starters without the other to lean on. The electrifying yet still raw talented Devin Hester will be the Bears best deep wide-receiver threat at the start of the 2008 season unless they pick up someone else in free agency or the 2008 NFL Draft. I also expect this will be a make or break season for Mark Bradley, assuming he can avoid the injury bug that has plagued him in his short career since being drafted, as a Bears receiver. If Orton wins the eventual starting QB position, that could be good, for a healthy Bradley, as Orton and Bradley seem to have a similar chemistry to the Grossman/Berrian tandem. Also if Orton, who seems to have the early lead in the Bears 2008 QB derby, wins the starting role he also will have a good one-two punch of tightends to throw to in Clark and Olson despite the Bears also losing their #3 tightend, John Gilmore, in free agency this year also. Wow –> despite the team keeping Briggs, if you consider the loss of Berrian, Muhammad and the teams running back woes and the offensive line shake-up, the 2008 Chicago Bears offense will be a huge question mark for a team that was in the Super Bowl just over a year ago! The Bears front office is most likely hoping that March leaves like a lamb leaving their team mostly in tact while it brings on the chance to pull several ready for prime time quality offensive rabbits instead of out of the hat in the upcoming April draft. But no matter how you look at it, the 2008 offense is already looking shakier than last season, which was more deserving of red/purple ink than gold, silver or bronze star awards during most of their games played.

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Responses

  1. Ouch!! The Bears have decided to not pursue free agent Brendon Ayanbadejo, one of their special teams star. That could be a big blow as he was one of the leaders of their #1 rated special teams.

    They also traded away QB Brian Griese for an undisclosed draft pick. That is no huge surprise as he was unable to knock Grossman from the starter position and Grossman is now looking like the #2 QB more than the #1. Griese is too expensive to hold on as a #3 QB.

    http://www.chicagobears.com/news/NewsStory.asp?story_id=4433


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