It is expected quarterback Brian Griese will be granted his release Monday if the Bears are unsuccessful in efforts to trade the veteran.
Griese is due a $300,000 roster bonus Tuesday, and the only other option would be to pay it and hold out hope a team comes calling so the Bears could, in essence, buy a late-round draft pick for the amount of the check they have to write him. That, however, would produce a great deal of ill will between him and the team and would not go over well with veterans in the locker room and around the league.
In that scenario, the Bears would also run the risk of colliding head on with one of those sticky situations where the club does not want the player working out because if he is injured he would lose any value and put the team on the hook for money remaining in the contract. But if the Bears denied Griese the right to work at the facility, he could file a grievance. It’s similar to what happened to Steve McNair in his messy exit from Tennessee, and it will all be avoided if Griese is released as anticipated.
His agent Ralph Cindrich said last week that Griese was upset he was not allowed to hit the open market when free agency opened Thursday night. Cindrich said it was his expectation his client would be let free before the deadline for the roster bonus. The Bears have announced the competition for the starting job will be between Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are thought to be the only team at this point to have interest in Griese. He was with the Bucs before he joined the Bears in 2006.
Based on the weekend’s events, with the Bears losing wide receiver Bernard Berrian to the Minnesota Vikings, it’s likely that position has become a greater need in the draft than quarterback if it wasn’t already ordered that way on the team’s draft board.
The search for a franchise passer marches on.