Phone lines and fax machines will begin lighting up in 36 hours when free agency opens.
The Bears will tender one-year offers to wide receiver Rashied Davis and safety Brandon McGowan before then. Those will likely be made today before Thursday's deadline.
General manager Jerry Angelo is hoping linebacker Lance Briggs, wide receiver Bernard Berrian and special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo determine that the grass is greener in Lake Forest after they dip their toes into free agency.
No one has said this, but I would imagine keeping Berrian is the top priority for the simple reason the team has no proven talent on the depth chart if he departs.
But if the Bears did not want to overpay for Berrian with the franchise tag -- $7.848 million -- they are going to be less apt to want to overpay in a longterm deal. Berrian is seeking in excess of $20 million over the first three years of a contract. A contract has been on his mind for a long time. Remember, he switched to agent Drew Rosenhaus during the season.
Is it possible Donte Stallworth or Ernest Wilford, more Rosenhaus clients, are on the Bears' radar in the event they miss out on Berrian?
The Bears want to keep Briggs, a Rosenhaus client too, but have been preparing for his potential departure for some time. It's why they drafted Jamar Williams in 2006 and Michael Okwo last April. Don't forget Nick Roach, the outside linebacker they signed off San Diego's practice squad in November. He's got some nice traits.
Check back later on when we explore free agency a little more as we get closer.