Chicago Sun-Times

UPDATED 7:07: Bears agree to terms with QB Hill

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The Sun-Times has learned that Southern Illinois quarterback Nick Hill has agreed to terms on a free-agent contract with the Bears.

Hill chose the Bears over five other offers.

The Bears have also agreed to terms on a free-agent deal with Western Kentucky wide receiver Curtis Hamilton.

Both players made free-agent visits to the Bears. Hill will be only the third quarterback on the roster.


Coach Lovie Smith on not drafting a quarterback:

“There were some good quarterbacks in the draft, but as we started getting farther along in the draft, we felt good about some of the players we could get a little bit later. As far as drafting guys, we didn’t meet those needs. But once we let it all sort out as far as free agency is concerned, we feel good about a few of the guys we might possible be able to sign.”

Smith didn't comment specifically on Hill because he has yet to put his name to the contract. The fax machines will be fired up though and the Bears should release a list of free-agent signings Monday.

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Oh boy what a treat. Maybe we can bring back Steve Walsh, no Dave Krieg, no Rick Mirer, no Steve Stenstrom, no Moses Moreno, no Shane Matthews, no Cade McNown, no Jim Miller, no Chris Chandler, no Henry Burris, no Kordell Stewart, no Jonathan Quinn, no Craig Krenzel, no Chad Hutchinson, or maybe Brian Griese.

Na we don't need any of those guys we have Nick Hill the second coming. I'm sure Angelo will say it's who he wanted all along.

What a joke... all these years and not one solid QB.

This guy will be cannon fodder, he can't throw a deep ball and has bad mechanics. It's hard to play in Turners offense when you cannot throw the deep ball. Unless the Bears are planning on switching offensive systems there picks make no sense.

This guy is the second coming of Danny Wuerffel. Oh wait, that's way too much credit for someone who played at SIU.

Stevie - don't get caught up in all the negativity. This draft was pretty good. The first three picks were safe, solid picks. No big risk and all three players should be contributors from the get go.
Williams will start at OLT
Forte will start at RB
Bennett will rotate with Booker at WR.

The rest of the draft was high risk high reward.
Harrison at DT (if he didn't get in trouble or hurt his knee would have been a mid to high 2nd)
Steltz SS/FS (instinctive, tough, hard hitter, but slow).
Bowman CB (Knees? but runs 4.37 over 6' 200lbs)
Davis TE (Big, fast, good hands up and down player)
Baldwin DE (Hard worker, avg. player)
Adams ORT/OG (Road grader, needs someone to kick him in gear)
LaRocgue LB (special teams)
Barton OG (Tough, strong, 4.95 40, Knee?)
Monk WR (6'4" 220 lbs 4.41 40, Knee?)

Yeah we didn't get a franchise QB, but they signed a developmental guy in Hill. If a third of these guys pan out after the first 3 picks this is a great draft. The Bears have 9 players after their first 3 picks, which were safe. If 1/3rd produce they've picked up 6 new players plus a developmental QB.

I agree with you Windy City guy. Compared to last year's disastrous draft this one actually looks pretty solid. Didn't exactly understand the CB and TE picks at that point in the draft, but am inclined to wait and see. As Kierkegard said, "Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards".

I give the Bears draft a (B-) Though, it's too bad they couldn't draft an offensive coordinator and an offensive identity.

OF COURSE he chose the Bears over five other teams. Every other team was smart enough to draft a QB in the first 4 rounds if they only had two on the roster prior to Saturday. And I don't think that many were dumb enough to only have two then. Way to think outside the box, Jerry and Lovie. Good luck with your next jobs in the Division II college ranks.

Settle down -

The first five picks will contribute next year. In fact, picks 1 - 3 are going to have major contributions in 2008. Ryan was the only franchise QB of the bunch and we had way to many holes to fill to trade up. Watch out for the Arkansas receiver in the red zone. I'm sure a veteran free agent guard may be in the plans. Remember, improving your O - Line helps the QB, RB and receivers. They did that. Yes, we will be in the red zone!

Tarheel Billy

Windy City, I agree with you, I thought the draft went well, I really feel like there were at least 2 times when teams traded up just ahead of us, and took the player I felt we were going to take, the first was Zbikowski, the Ravens moved ahead of us, and the other was Schuening from OregonSt, I thought we would select him as well, but overall I thought we filled needs. However, the fact that the Bears did not draft a QB, with an early round pick, is something Bear fans do not seem willing to forgive. I really thought that the way the draft unfolded, the Bears could have moved from 14 to 18, and gotten Flacco, and still they would have been able to get most of the players that they selected. I even thought they would try for Chad Henne, but it seems they didn`t want to bring in a rookie that might cause the fragile QB bubble to burst, being that they have given all their confidance to Grossman and Orton. Is anyone interested in signing Dante Culpepper?

Whats the deal with the TE pick? Clark and Olsen are both good in my book, and Olsen is the future. It doesn't make any sense to me especially with all the holes we needed to fill.

joeyg - love the quote!

I think the draft is a solid B+.

If QB is still a problem next year draft another QB somewhere in rds 2-4 and do so every year until you get one. It's the hardest position to find players at and everybody wants one. Next year whoever didn't win the starting position is leaving. Hill will go to number two and the third spot opens up.

I like this draft. I see 1-3 new OL. I see 1-2 new WR. I see a RB, SS, backup TE and 1-2 new DL. We should know in about three years how good this draft was. I think they learned from the mistakes of last year (don't gamble on your first 3 picks).

Why did we use all those mid round picks, couldn't we have traded them away for some more 7th round picks? For every m. colston there are 30-40 others that never play a down in the 7th round. This is baffling. We have chances to get Brian Brohn, josh Johnson, even a developmental Woodson from Kentucky. How many defensive ends are we gonna keep? tight ends? what the ..... We get the 5th best lineman with the 14th pick. Just like the 5th best Def. end in 03 Michael Haynes. Didn't we just extend Angelo's contract two years ago. How long is this bonehead gonna get to Stick around. Everyone wants to trade down why couldn't we get back in the late first round to get a Mendenhall. Congrats to the Steelers you stole mendenhall. Quality is better than quanity isn't it? I wonder how many 7th round picks we can get for our first round pick next year? we should be picking in the top 5.

Please clear this up for me. We swap 4th round picks with Miami and get their 7th. We swap 4th round picks with Tampa and get their 5th. Miami had three 6th round picks. We should have ended up with one of Miami's 6th round picks. Am I missing something here or were we rearended on that one.

Creegan I think you're right about the trades in front. Also, I think they are figuring the winner of the QB battle needs at least a year before the Bears fans yell to put the 3rd QB in.

I think the TE pick was to develop someone behind Clark he will be 31 this year.

The CB pick is probably just because of the raw talent he has. If that pans out it makes it possible to put 2 big CB's on the field to cover teams that go big on both sides of the fields.

Boy oh boy if Monk can stay healthy it's going to be tough to come up with the 5 you keep. Bennett is solid he's 6' and runs 4.45. Monk is 6'4 1/2" and runs a 4.41. After Hester, who do they keep?

You guys are silly. We have Rex Grossman. REX GROSSMAN. Why would we need another quarterback? Rex is our quarterback. Rejoice!

No, seriously, shoot me now.

All these guys suck, One bust in the top 3 picks which by the way is the average, and this draft is a total waste. The first 3 picks are safe picks but there not championship picks. There nothing special, not a single player will be special out of this draft. Just cause a guy makes a team doesnt mean he's good, it just means you have an opening. Waited all they way to the 7th round to draft another offensive line guy because Angelo was picking injury prone college players and special team players, when the Bears needed offensive help. Harris will not last 3 years in the nfl on his knees, not to mention I bet he gets suspended in two. Bowman will be injured again and gone, the two oline guys both stink and are only practice squad bodies. Davis is another guy who will be suspended and is a horrible TE. But he's big and fast so he must be good according to people. Well he can't catch or block and plays defense better than he plays offense. Bennett is just another Davis. The only guy who will start is Forte and he runs too upright and will get mugged all the time. He fumbles to much. God people around here think he just drafted a future all pro bowl squad. This draft will be just like last years draft.

the bears had a soild draft. I know no qb but after matt ryan not a whole lot was left. lets consider

brohm, injury prone and weak arm

flacco, big arm but poor foot work and has difficulty speed DEs in against D2 oppoents

johnson, doesn't have a big enough arm, more of a pure west coast passer

henne, has a pretty low completion % and reminds me of another rex grossman

with the pats taking o'connell their wasn't anything special about the rest. the 1st three picks were as solid as you can get and the later picks were a little risky but not that much.
if harrison bust we still have decent DTs to play with tommie
TE davis could be groomed to replace clark
steltz seems like he'll be a sound special teams player or 3rd string saftey, if brown goes down we still have payne and he looked good before he got hurt
monk has too much upside to pass with your last pick

the bears drafted safe in the most important positions and took a risk were they have a little bit of luxury to do so

as for nick hill, why not. he had the highest completion % of any of the qbs in the draft and he does have the arm to make all the throws. it isn't a joe flacco arm but it's good enough. high completion percentage is one of the few stats that traslates from college to the pros, i think hill's was 71%. if he can adjust to the speed of the nfl he'll be a steal for the bears. he's a lefty too so if he ever makes his way up to starting in the future, his blind side will be right.

maybe outside of matt ryan, all of the other qbs were just as risky as taking nick hill.

People need to calm down about the Bears not drafting a quarterback. Yes, Grossman and Orton are not Tom Brady, but they are going to be the 1 and 2 qbs next year, like it or not. And developing qbs rarely works. If it did then Orton would be ready to kick butt. Heck, Green Bay used a first round pick on Aaron Rodgers, developed him for three years behind one of the all time greats, and they just drafted Rodgers replacement before he's even started one game.

Sure the Bears need an upgrade at qb (there's only about six teams that don't) but what they needed more of were linemen. I like a lot of this draft, but drafting a CB, TE, and LB instead of OG makes no sense. I also didn't like drafting WR in the third round. We have enough young, unproven receivers that deserve a chance. Why add one more to the mix. That pick should have been Zuttah. That's the pick that will haunt the Bears. Not passing on a third string clip board carrier.

Lets get Vick. at least it will be interesting NEXT YEAR. we need more parts!!!

Another year that the Bears don't give a sh-- about the QB position. You have to take a chance on a QB every year because you never know aka Brady, Bulger, Anderson, etc. JA just never gives this position any credit. We need OL and we don't draft another till the 7th round? these guys have no clue what the hell is going on! The 1st 3 picks were solid, then question marks all over the place. No QBs? Give me a fu---- break! You have to take a shot at a Booty, Ainge O'Connell and even a Woodson or Brennan with late picks. No I'm sorry drafting Baldwin from MSU made more sense. What? or Bowman, extremely injury prone, or Kellen Davis & Marcus Harrison with character issues. and the answer to QB is Nick Hill. I give up!!!!! This is the most arrogant bunch of SOBs I have ever seen.

Overall, i thought the bears had a fairly good draft. As nice as it would have been to pick Mendenhall, they made the wise choice of filling a need. They picked up a few offensive linemen and i liked their wr picks and the running back they got. Forte will push Benson to become better, and if Cedric don't respond, he could just loose his spot. As for the quarterback situation, i think Nick Hill was a good pickup. I had a chance to watch him play this year and he is a very patient quarterback who moves the ball up and down the field. He doesn't have the arm of a Jamarcus Russel, but he can occasionally throw the deep ball. With the bears, we all know it depends on how the offensive line performs. As bad as our quarterbacks have been, the offensive hasn't helped much. Seriously, i'm 5 ft 8 and 130 lbs and i could block better than Fred Miller. The bears defensive is going to have to have an amazing year for the bears to compete.

Another terrible draft by Slick. I'll never understand why he won't address our QB issue. Has he not watched the same games we and the analysts have? Rx and Orton are not NFL starting QBs. I can't wait to see Rx fumble a dozen snaps again next year prior to getting injured yet again.

We needed more Olinemen after getting our OT. To take a TE when we could have had a good OG was worthless too.

Slick is also a hypocrite. He stressed character and instead ended up with a couple of cons. It is easy to see too why we have so many injuries each year and it is because Slick drafts players with injury histories.

Another losing season and more rebuilding again next season and another scary draft of Slick armed with a high pick,

I fail to understand why many bears fans think orton is some sort of demi-god. He is grossman without the strong arm. a pre-season wonder. has no real strong points. not what you would call a 'throwing quarterback', but not mobile either.

Dear Nick Hill, you may be an undrafted free agent from a I-AA program, but you can establish yourself as bears fans favorite in two ways: by not being rex grossman (or maybe orton- the key is to not be the starter, who will be hated by all fans regardless)and by having one really solid quarter in the preseason against other I-AA undrafted players. Hopefully you can get into a couple of grbage time games this year after rex is benched and orton is benched. That way, the bears brain trust can decide not to pursue a real qb again. Welcome!

I think the draft this year was ok, some picks that make alot of sence and some that dont. Adding depth to DE and TE positions when we have done nothing about the hole in the guard poition is crazy. The other thing I have trouble with is not getting a top rated QB when we had so many chances. I know this was suppose to be a weak class but their were some great deals avail for guys projected to go much much higher in the draft. Considering we had no third string QB and making statments that finding a good QB was a priority to the Bears and not taking advantage with one of twelve picks does not make any sence. At least make it look like your trying and the fans may give you a break. Did we really need another DE or TE that bad? Couldnt we have used a 3,4,5,6,or even 7 round pick to fill a desperate need?
Ow well its hard to say we did good or bad until we give it some time, As Kierkegard said, "Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards". Have Faith and Try to focus on the good stuff. We did get a few quality guys at positions we needed filled. Lets hope the Bears have a plan for help on the OL and QB positions that we dont know about.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 27, 2008 6:27 PM.

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