Chicago Sun-Times

Their Marty Booker now available

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Even after he was gone, Bears general manager Jerry Angelo occasionally referred to him as ``our Marty Booker.’’

That spoke to the level of affection Angelo and many in the organization had for Booker, who was dealt to the Miami Dolphins weeks before the start of the 2004 season for defensive end Adewale Ogunleye.

The Bears can take a shot at bringing Booker back to the Bears after the Dolphins made him one of nine cuts by new team president Bill Parcells on Monday. Also released were quarterback Trent Green and defensive tackle Keith Traylor, another ex-Bear.

Booker, a third-round pick by the Bears in 1999, represented the Bears in the Pro Bowl following the 2002 season. He’s the only Bears wide receiver to make the trip to Hawaii in the last 36 years since Dick Gordon in 1972.

He will turn 32 in July and is coming off a 50-catch season in which he had 556 yards and one touchdown. It’s difficult to really judge the performance of any offensive players as Miami was so dreadful this past year. Booker, who was due to make $4.3 million in this coming season in the final year of his deal, had his best season with the Dolphins in 2006 when he made 55 receptions for 747 yards and scored six touchdowns.

When the trade happened, Booker was devastated. He didn’t enjoy his new surroundings in Miami at first but came around. While he’s no longer the player he was when he caught a franchise-record 100 passes in 2001, Booker has some value. Given the fact that the free-agent market is largely barren—Bernard Berrian is the top receiver headed to free agency Feb. 29—Booker could get to pick and choose in searching for his new home.

The Bears are still in the midst of organizational meetings to chart their plans for free agency. If Berrian departs, they’re going to need to replace him. There’s also no guarantee Muhsin Muhammad will return. He’s due to make $1.6 million in 2008 and will carry a salary-cap figure of nearly $3.31 million. If the Arizona Cardinals lose Bryant Johnson in free agency, another decent option expected to be on the open market, Booker could head there where he is close with offensive coordinator Todd Haley, the former Bears’ receivers coach.


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8 Comments

I liked what Muhammad did for the young receivers like how he helped Mark Bradely in his rookie year but unfortunately Bradely was injury prone and the Bears aren't paying Muhammad to be a receivers coach and the fact of the matter is Muhammad is simply not produceing on the field and that is what the Bears are paying him to do. I think it is time to part ways with Muhammad and bring in someone like Bryant Johnson of Arizona. I think he could be good if given the chance to start which Johnson is not getting right now in Arizona not with all-pro's Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin in front of him. Johnson has nice size at 6-3 215lbs and has averaged 40 catches a year as a third receiver. Also the Bears won't have to pay Johnson a load of money, and another advantage to signing Johnson is he is more NFL ready than a rookie would be. And Bryant Johnson has only been in the league since 03 so unlike when the Bears signed Muhammad Johnson actually has some good years in front of him.

While Booker has never been a deep thread, I hope the Bears at least take a good look at him. Maybe he can take over Muhammads role as somewhat of a father figure for younger receivers.

Muhammad helped this offense but to me, he is done. If Booker has something left in his tank, the Bears should try to bring him in on a reasonable price.

No!!!!! Dont bring Marty back. You get another Moose on the roster. Draft some recievers like Green Bay. Rd 1 OT Rd 2 WR Rd 3 OT Rd 4 RB Rd 5 S.....I dont know

Definately bring back booker. He was the only pro bowl WR we've had since Curtiss Conway?

He doesnt drop passes like Berrian/Moose.

I like Moose, but man, he cant hold onto the football half the time.

Plus he quit in the Superbowl on that one Pick rex underthrew

Take a look at him. Playing for Miami last year with the quarterbacks they had can't be a fair evalution for Booker. My guess he has plenty left, and he can be a upgrade over Moose.

jobo you know a little but rd2 is too early for a reciever thats were you find your next RB. There are recievers in camp already Mike Haas, Brandon Ridieu for example Booker is done but why not check out Trent Green see how he looks he's out there could be had for cheap with a ton of incentives. He can't be any more whacked in the head then Wrecks or Greased.

no moose booker! we need big young athletic marques colston type guys!

i loved book but i'm afraid he's getting a bit long in the tooth as they say. we need a crop of young receivers, uh, ones who can actually CATCH the ball.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 11, 2008 4:17 PM.

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