Chicago Sun-Times

Ayanbadejo says he could return even after Bears announce they're done with him

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Don’t rule him out just yet.

That’s what Brendon Ayanbadejo said from a hotel Tuesday night in Baltimore.

In an odd twist to his foray into free agency, the two-time Pro Bowl special teams player said there is still a possibility he will return to the Bears a day after the club announced on its Web site that a four-year contract offer to him had been rescinded. Ayanbadejo has had a whirlwind 48 hours. He was at the Beverly Hills (Calif.) Hotel Sunday night receiving an award from the UCLA Black Alumni Association.

The next day, while Ayanbadejo traveled across country for a visit with the New York Jets, the Bears announced they were moving on without him. Ayanbadejo met with Jets officials Monday night and again Tuesday morning before flying to Baltimore.

``[The Bears’] offer is still on the table,’’ Ayanbadejo said. ``They still want me to come back. I wasn’t upset [when that came out]. But I don’t think it was fair. I played for $500,000 and I never complained. I’m about to triple that. I never complained when I was a Pro Bowler. I never put a deadline to give me this money, or else.

``Basically, it comes down to these three teams and I am going to give the Bears the chance to match my best offer.’’

Ayanbadejo, who will turn 32 before the season begins, said all three clubs have presented four-year deals with offers from the Jets and Ravens being ``close’’ and for ``considerably more’’ than the Bears’ offer. He is seeking roughly $1.5 million per year right now. Ayanbadejo’s brother Obafemi won a Super Bowl ring with Baltimore, and he was once property of the Ravens and was allocated to NFL Europe by them in 2001.

The teams have similar philosophies on special teams. Bears coordinator Dave Toub came here in 2004 from Philadelphia where he was an assistant under John Harbaugh, now Baltimore’s head coach. Jets special teams coach Kevin O’Dea just took his post after working under Toub here for two seasons. Ayanbadejo is second in the league in special-teams tackles over the last two seasons, according to Stats Inc.

It’s an interesting development because it’s unlikely the Bears would announce they were done dealing with a player and not mean it.

Ayanbadejo is returning to his home in Miami Wednesday morning and said he expects agent Drew Rosenhaus to sort through the offers and determine what they want before presenting their best offer to the Bears Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

There are two sides to this story. Two different sides. Stay tuned.

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Sounds like he's in denial. I highly doubt the Bears would consider having him back.

Never say never in this league. I thought Lance Briggs had burned every bridge ever built.

The Bears don't need Ayanbadejo. He is 32 and just a special teamer. We got others to step up.
And there is one more thing: Angelo, bring back Todd Johnson and Cameron Worell!

Ayanbadejo is second in the league in special-teams tackles over the last two seasons which mean he is a player the team really needs to think about keeping. I hope the team thinks this one out before deciding not to have him back.

Isn't is funny how even though the Jets and the Ravens have offered him more money that he still wants to be a Bear. They always want to come home to poppa bear in the end. Heck, look what happened with Booker and appearantly Briggs. Deep inside they're Bear's to the end no matter what their greedy agents tell them.

I heard from NFL scouts that Rosenhaus is actually a good & fair agent to negotiate with. Angelo actually likes working with Rosenhaus, apparently, and Rosenhaus presents an image inside the boardroom that is completely different than the image that is presented by the media. Don't be surprised if Ayanbadejo comes back to the Bears, just like Briggs.


Come on back dude, all is forgiven.
We need you. You are a Bear!

Money isn't everything.

Of course he wants to be back! Wouldn't you? He's on the #1 special teams squad, he's on the same team as Devin Hester, and the coach is Dave Toub. It's $ vs. making history.

That was funny about bringing back Todd Johnson and Cameron Worrell. Good one.

"their greedy agents"? Are the agents any more greedy than team owners like the McCaskeys who hike ticket prices while at the same time hoarding every last penny they can? I never cease to be amazed at the lengths to which Bears fans go to defend the pockets of the McCaskeys. It's morons like that who give the rest of us Bears fans a reputation of being myopic, blindly loyal idiots.

1.5 million a year for Ayanbadejo? That's peanuts! He's earned it, and most importantly, he's worth it. Heck, you can dump Adam Archuleta right now and be pretty close to saving that much money. Ayanbadejo is a difference maker on special teams and he gets the entire team and stadium fired up with his energy.

Some of you people are so funny. You think everyone is so replaceable the second they even start thinking of leaving Halas Hall. "Briggs is leaving? That's fine, Jamar will step in and we won't miss a beat."....."Berrian is gone? that's fine, Bradley will fill in"......."Ayanbadejo is leaving? No problem, Darrell McClover will do the same things he did"......etc etc ec.


Vic, I love you brother.
You are right.
Bears spend $$ and years developing players and once they reach that rare Pro Bowl level, they are gone.
Bears Management Sucks

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 4, 2008 10:34 PM.

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