Chicago Sun-Times

Negotiations for futures contracts open up

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The five-day window teams have to exclusively negotiate with their own players for futures/reserve contracts has ended, meaning the Bears can begin shopping elsewhere. Futures contracts are essentially what teams use to retain the services of players who were on the practice squad whose contracts expire at the end of each season. It's what the players allocated to NFL Europe used to sign before the developmental league went belly up.

The Bears had hoped to sign cornerback Greg Fassitt to such a deal, but he is believed to be checking out what other offers could be available after spending the season on the practice squad. With starting corners Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher recently signing longterm extensions, and with veteran Ricky Manning Jr. and draft picks Trumaine McBride and Corey Graham blocking him, it only makes sense.

Defensive tackle Matt Toeaina and linebacker Nick Roach were two players the Bears targeted from elsewhere and wound up signing off practice squads during the season. Roach was signed away from San Diego in mid-November, arriving in time to receive an accrued season toward free agency.

Roach stood out in the final three games on special teams and is expected to take a prominent role next season if he doesn't battle for the weak-side linebacker spot with Lance Briggs expected to leave in free agency. He's intelligent and he uses his hands well to shed blocks and could push Jamar Williams with a strong spring.

Toeaina wasted no time getting acclimated as he played in the final three games, getting action at Minnesota Dec. 17 just days after coming over from Cincinnati.

The Bears have already signed guards Matt Jones and Tyler Reed, safety Leonard Peters and running back P.J. Pope to futures deals.

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I think they need to resign lance briggs he is to good not to. During that last game v.s. the sanits when i say him plow over marcus coslton that was my sign. After that hit i said if they dont sign him they're crazy. Lance could make a huge impact on if we go 6-10 next year or 10-6. Berrin is the same thing he realy hasn't fallen into a real big wide reciver over the years but he is to fast not to resign. Watching him on go routes catching the ball 46 yards down field makes me see that hes attempting to fall into his roll

Bears fans want the Bears to resign Briggs. I bet even the Bears wouldn't mind overpaying a little for him. But I feel that Briggs took the negotiations too personally and will sign somewhere else.
I liked what Matt Toeaina showed in the final few games and might mean Walker is going to be released.
It will be interesting to see if a young LB steps up to take Brigg's place. The Bears will need to start rotating their LBs like how they rotate their DTs. Think of what the defense had to do last year. If they had a 3 and out or worse a long drive then the other team kicked to Hester it wouldn't give them much rest. Plus Urlacher and Hunter getting a year older they should give them a rest from time to time.

Listen up, Bears fans - there is NO WAY that Briggs will EVER be re-signed and get paid more than Brian Urlacher. Get that through your heads.

The Bears need to step and sign Lance Briggs! He is one of the best linebackers in football and there is no reason to let him go. In addition they should replace Hunter Hillenmeyer with Jamar Williams. Hunter is solid, but he is just that, Williams is clearly better and putting him with Urlacher and Briggs will give us the best group of linebackers we've had since Urlcher, Holdman, and Colvin.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 7, 2008 6:52 AM.

Slicing the pie: A look at the Bears' '07 salary cap was the previous entry in this blog.

Redskins reportedly interested in Briggs, Berrian is the next entry in this blog.

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