With the free-agent market for safeties thin and the draft class ``anemic’’ in the estimation of general manager Jerry Angelo, the Bears ensured they will not lose Brandon McGowan.
The club tendered the restricted free agent at the mid-level meaning he will be paid $1.412 million in 2008. It virtually guarantees no other team will attempt to sign him to an offer sheet because if the Bears declined to match it they would receive a second-round draft pick as compensation. No one is going to swap that for McGowan even though he did show solid improvement in the second half of the season starting at strong safety.
The Bears tendered an offer to fellow RFA Rashied Davis at the low level. The wide receiver will be paid $927,000 and the Bears will not receive compensation for him should they lose him to another team because he was not a draft pick.
It’s still possible the club could reach an accord with Davis on a longterm deal. They could match an offer sheet for him like they did with defensive lineman Israel Idonije in 2006, or find common ground with him during the offseason as they did with strong-side linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer during the summer of 2006. The Bears had tendered Hillenmeyer to control his rights and then worked out a five-year contract.
Davis might draw interest from the San Francisco 49ers as he’s the kind of undersized wide receiver offensive coordinator Mike Martz likes to use underneath.