Chicago Sun-Times

Reflecting on Day 2 of free agency

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Reflecting on another whirlwind day in free agency ... boy, that came together quickly between Bernard Berrian and Lance Briggs Saturday afternoon. The foes from their high school days—Berrian was on the losing end at Atwater, Calif., High against Briggs at Elk Grove (Sacramento, Calif.)—cashed in just hours apart.

It’s a good bet Berrian’s deal of $42 million over six seasons will resonate as the biggest stunner in free agency this year. More stunning than the complete lack of a market for Briggs, who is in position to net $43.2 million over seven seasons when you factor in the franchise tag he played for last season.

But the money Briggs got is not too far off the $33 million, seven-year extension the team put in front of him two years ago. A lot of that money would already be in the bank. When you weigh the money he got playing for the tag last season, it probably comes out about even. Of course, now he’s further away from another contract. The bottom line is the Bears retained an elite defensive player who can only help the unit improve after a disappointing 2007.

-- Wide receiver Devin Hester has joined the list of players on the current roster the Bears are working to extend. Team officials discussed that very matter with his agent Eugene Parker at the scouting combine.

Where’s a good place for a Hester deal to start? Well, Hester’s camp would probably tell you $42 million over six seasons.

-- Yes, the Bears will explore options at wide receiver in free agency. But it just became a greater priority in the draft. Bryant Johnson is visiting the Bills starting today. If Buffalo puts the right contract in front of him, he will sign. The Bears view Johnson as a younger (and thus faster) Muhsin Muhammad.

-- Speaking of wide receivers ... ESPN.com's Mike Sando did an interesting note on the Bears' depth chart. They have only four receivers under contract right now -- Hester, Mark Bradley, Mike Hass and Brandon Rideau. Rashied Davis has not signed the one-year tender offer he received as a restricted free agent.

Sando points out the Bears, Kansas City and New England are the only three teams with only four receivers under contract. Hey, plenty of space available in Darryl Drake's meeting room.

-- Kicker Robbie Gould and defensive end Mark Anderson are in line for extensions, too. Gould had to get a kick out of the free-agent deal Josh Brown agreed to Friday with the St. Louis Rams. He picked up $14.2 million over five seasons with a $4 million signing bonus. That makes Brown the highest-paid kicker in league history, a position

Gould would no doubt like to be in. Gould made 63-of-72 field goals over the last two seasons. Brown, in that same stretch, was 53-of-65.

-- Linebacker Demorrio Williams canceled his free-agent visit with the Bears after Briggs signed. Then, he picked up a $16 million, five-year deal from the Kansas City Chiefs. The NFL Network reported it included $5.5 million in guaranteed money. Williams was to visit Tampa Bay Monday before coming here.

-- Wide receiver D.J. Hackett could be on the Bears’ radar. Teams that have shown more interest thus far—Tampa Bay, San Francisco, Tennessee, Washington and his former team, Seattle.

-- Between a delay in the Philadelphia airport where tight end John Gilmore began his journey Friday, and a layover in Charlotte, N.C. (he must have been on US Air), he spent more than 10 hours in airports.

``It was worth it,’’ Gilmore said Saturday morning as he was doing what else, going through the security line at Tampa International Airport after signing his three-year deal. ``I’m glad it’s over.’’

-- Special teams Pro Bowler Brendon Ayanbadejo will receive an award today from UCLA from the school’s African-American alumni group.

Time to power down the laptop for a few hours. Check back during the day when we look for updates in Day 3 of free agency.

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21 Comments

I don't quite get the lack of activity the Bears are showing regarding free agent WR's. I would think they would have had at least one in town this weekend for a meeting.

He better get a stud WR out of this years draft if they're going this route in free agency. Given Angelo's track record in drafting offensive playmakers, I'm not holding my breath on that one.

NO BERRIAN OFFENSE NOW AWLFULFENCE

I think the Bears were right to let the delusional Berrian out of town, but there is no excuse for not getting one of the remaining WRs like Johnson or Hackett in for a visit, or putting a contract offer in front of their agent to gauge interest. While I think Mike Hass and Mark Bradley will both be better than they have shown so far when given real opportunity through the offseason program to work with Orton and Grossman, I do not believe Devin Hester has the capability of being a #1 WR any time soon, so they need someone else. If they stay where they are, Ron Turner better be working on studying the Colts offense, and their 2 tight end sets with Dallas Clark and Ben Utecht. That may be our best bet for generating a passing attack. Put one of them on the line, and split out the other to get mismatches and force one-on-one coverage on the outside with Bradley and whoever the other WR is (I would prefer to see Hass there, and Hester be the 3rd WR)

Jim IowaCity if losing Berrian makes the offense that bad then if was bad off from the beginning. You are just as stupid as Mariotti I don't even know why Mariotti's sorry arse is still in Chicago, can we get rid of hom in free agency? All you doom and gloom people need to come back from the edge he is one player there was still a need even before he left .

It`s time for everyone to chill, for a moment, because we are now past the "frenzy", part of free agency, and teams will now start "thinking" about the players they want, instead of "reacting", to their availability. The Bears will more than likely sit and wait for the cost of the free agents to come down to reality levels, and then evaluate which ones, if any, they would like to have. I think as Bear fans we would like to see Marty Booker back in a Bears uniform, he still has a lot of good football left in him, and for the right price, would be an excellent value addition to the team.

I think Jerry Angelo has done a great job thus far in free agency. Think about it this way Angelo just resigned a three time pro bowler for cheaper than an over rated wideout that dropped way to many balls this season. Also Angelo got a division rival to over pay for Berrian and the Bears got Briggs for way cheaper than any fo us thought he would. The only thing that would sit this free agency period over the top would be if the Bears could sign Arizonas Bryant Johnson who I think would be an upgrade over Berrian. Bryant Johnson will probably be cheaper than Berrian also. I would also like to see the Bears extend Tommie Harris then
are whole defense would be locked up GO BEARS!!

I agree with joe Felicelli Berrian wasnt a true number one reciever from the begginging but the Bears still need to bolster that postition because frankly last years reicieving corp was bad and this year it is going to be much much worse. Hopefully we can get someone through the draft. GOD I HATE J MARIOTTi!!!

WOW...Jerry is a genius!!!!HE is taking our minds off of the fact that our horrible running game led by a geriatric line wasn't all that bad.Now we just don't need to throw downfield because of this juggernaut.I'd also like to add my name to become your South regional scouting Director. I just moved to Houston last year, and met this incredible kid who wants to quit his day job at the crawfish farm and thinks he is your proto-type safety.Drop me a line if your interested,But I might be having lunch w/ the Shoopinator reliving THOSE glory days.

man good riddance for berrian.. we seem to forget how many balls he dropped last year.. hes soft in the middle and time wil only tell what he will do for the vikings.. bears however may have to draft s stud wide out and hope that their are still lineman available in the draft

Mariotti is an idiot. The Vikings just got duped into giving a top four WR contract to a player that:
- Never made a Pro Bowl
- Consistently drops passes
- Continually gives up on routes
- Can't beat press coverage
- Never breaks any tackles on short/mid routes

What Angelo has done is sign three Pro Bowl players - Briggs, Vasher and Peanut (should be a Pro Bowler) for "sober" - good but fair - contracts

Moose wasn't playing to his contract - leadership is nice, but productivity is the key.

Take a deep breath Moronotti - why does the SunTimes allow him to call people names in his columns? - this is a work in progress up until opening day.

This is a disgrace to be a BEARS fan we have all this money and we aren't doing anything with it. What's the problem I love Lance Briggs but after all that talk you don't get any offers because other teams don't want a cry baby. Now you take the same offer you were so insulted about i just don't get it. And poor, poor, Benard did you see Marcus Robinson career end in MINN.and who is your QB Tavares Jackson come on be 4real.

djssr you are right man.. berrian is a first class bum.. i couldn't have wanted it to end any other way... i'm not going to say that guy is not a decent wr. but when rex too most of the blame for his drop passes.. everytime we had a big drive berrian would kill grossman with a huge drop. dallas game berrian had a wide open td and drops it along the sideline by himself with no in front of him.. another key drop of a 15 yrd gain and a first down.. while you guys maybe upset because we have no veteran wrs. i'm not so worried about that as line as the bears bolster up that line we are in great shape..

I have two moves for the Bears to make... San Diego running back Michael Turner and Jacksonville offensive lineman Maurice Williams.

Then, the draft can be receiver, safety, receiver, guard, D Tackle...

For those who are bemoaning the moves that the Bears have made thus far, I honestly suggest that you all consider running out and purchasing brand new Redskin jerseys! Oh wait...whose name will be on them? The Redskins, for several years, have tried the Helter-Skelter approach to building a team, throwing insane money at the fanciest names they could find. What has it gotten them? One playoff game and a new coach. Bears fans continue to fire shots at JA as if he is the worst GM that ever lived, yet he got us to the SUPERBOWL one year ago!! The Bears WILL NOT mortgage the next 10 years by over-paying a mediocre WR Jerry Rice $$! They continue to re-sign their own guys (D.Clark,A.Brown, L.Briggs, R.Grossman,K.Orton) because they believe in their ability to judge talent. BTW, the Redskins are in salary cap purgatory and couldn't even lure away the guy they most coveted, Lance Briggs! The Bears will pick up another vet WR for affordable $$ once they determine wether or not there is $$ left after Brendon signs and get O-Line help, a young RB, and probably a young receiver via the draft. And you, as a new Redskin fan, will be wishing YOUR new team had JA as their GM! GO BEARS!!!!!

berrian sucks. i am glad we get to watch him play drop 2 times a year. MARIOTTI is retarded!

djssr, I don't think people who are worried about the lack of free-agent activity for the offense can be labeled "doom and gloom", especially given Angelo's offensive drafting track record.

I guess trying to inject some reality by some is another's "doom and gloom".

I am not mad at all about Berrian. He was a good deep threat for the bears but as a complete WR he wasn't even close, he's clearly not a number one WR. I am glad Briggs is back, if the D-line can stay healthy, and add a veteran SS OR FS, maybe we can get back in to the top 5 in defense. I agree with everyone about not getting these free agent WR'S in. And what about the O-line and RB positions. They have alot of work to do in the draft. I pray to God they make the right decisions.

When the Bears draft someone like Devin Thomas from MI State, Berrian will be a distant memory. Look up his credentials, he looks like a solid #1 - bigger and stronger than Berrian with good speed. There are 4-5 great prospects in the draft (admittedly they rarely make an impact as rookies though).

Thank You Vikings for taking all that money and wasting it on Berrian. Now where will the money come from to sign a QB that can throw it to him? 42 million dollars!! For a work in progress. They must've seen only his highlights. And I went to public school, but 7 plus 36 over 7 years(including last year) is much better than 33 over 7. Not even close. The only thing the extra year cost Briggs is grief from the fans and the media. Give them another week and someone else will take the heat off him. Fans actually forgive a guy once he continue playing up to their ability. Sadly, his agent gave him some bad info and he took it. The fans will always remember that he cried for his money but fans actually hate anyone making money other than themselves.

I agree with Jimbo. Berrian will disappear in the middle for the Vikqueens. He has his big contract now watch him be one of the biggest flubs in Vikqueen history. He's a woos.

I am really pleased the Bears didn't re-sign Berrian - he was a good but certainly not great player and the Vikings are paying way, way over the odds for him.

I agree though with some of the postings, I don't understand why the Bears haven't had any of the FA receivers in yet - my understanding is that there isn't much depth in the draft and surely the priority there is OL, RB and QB?

If the Bears get the running offence they want, they don't need star receivers, just good ones and Johnson would be a good player for the Bears.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 2, 2008 1:32 AM.

Berrian media session in Minnesota was the previous entry in this blog.

Restricted free agency ... truly restrictive is the next entry in this blog.

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