You can bet the Bears wish they had Justin Gage on the roster right now as they brace themselves for the possibility Bernard Berrian exits via free agency.
Gage, a fifth-round draft pick in 2003, never made it to the open market. He agreed to a four-year contract with the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday worth $14.5 million and including $6.5 million in guaranteed money. It is similar to the package Dallas gave Patrick Crayton earlier this year.
Gage never seemed to be a fit in Ron Turner’s offense, rarely seeing the field. He signed with the Titans last season for $1 million and led them with 750 receiving yards and 55 receptions. Of his 55 catches, 45 went for first downs, the third-highest ratio in the league. Gage’s best year as a Bear was 2005 when he made 31 catches for 346 yards and two touchdowns.
Ironically, another fifth-round pick from that same 2003 draft class also led his new team in receiving. Bobby Wade was tops on the Minnesota Vikings with 54 catches for 647 yards. Maybe that’s why general manager Jerry Angelo is singing he praises of Mark Bradley ... perhaps he knows he can play if the coaches would only give him an opportunity.