The gig of Tuesday Morning Quarterback is already occupied, so we’ll try out hand at a little Tuesday morning draft analysis.
The Bears have been the first club the last two summers to have all of their draft picks signed, but contract negotiator Cliff Stein has a little more work to make that happen again with 12 draft picks. Given where the Bears selected, it shouldn’t be an issue getting everyone to Bourbonnais on time and it doesn’t really matter if they sign July 4 or July 22.
First-round draft pick Chris Williams is expected to sign a five-year contract with roughly $9 million guaranteed. I did my best to explain the unusual circumstances surrounding the No. 14 pick last year, New York Jets’ cornerback Darrelle Revis. The Bears will do all they can to avoid those types of snags.
Second-round draft pick Matt Forte will be working off the deal of Sidney Rice, the No. 44 pick from 2007. Rice collected a signing bonus of $1.316 million for his four-year deal.
*** Williams was introduced at Halas Hall Monday and was every bit as impressive as the team made him out to be. Bright guy. Engaging. He didn’t seem in awe of the situation.
“Obviously, I want the opportunity to start,” he said. “And I want to earn the opportunity. They’re expecting me to play, but at the same time I have to work for it.”
Williams was asked if he plans to be in training camp on time, the most hackneyed question there is for these introductory press conferences. Of course, he said yes. When the player says he has a family reunion in late July that is important to him, and he doesn’t plan to show up on time, then it will qualify as news.
Say what you want about Cedric Benson, but he was as honest as the day is long three years ago when he basically said business is business. It has nothing to do with whether or not the player plans to be on time. No one plans to hold out. It just happens that Benson missed five weeks.
*** After saying the last two seasons that the Bears’ quarterback situation was as strong as it has been in his tenure, general manager Jerry Angelo says now it’s about fixing the No. 1, not the bunch from top to bottom.
Of course, he was referencing the trio of Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton and the since departed Brian Griese. Yes, it was better than any previous collections, you know, ones including Chad Hutchinson, Craig Krenzel, Kordell Stewart, etc.
It should be about fixing the No. 1 and that’s the point Sports Illustrated’s Peter King was hammering away at here.
The Bears passed on USC’s John David Booty in the fourth round to take LSU safety Craig Steltz. If Booty winds up being the answer in Minnesota, it will sting even more. Ditto if Brian Brohm ultimately is the man to replace Brett Favre in Green Bay. Angelo could have had him or Chad Henne in Round 2. The problem was the club had to address left tackle immediately, and there wasn’t a quarterback to take at No. 14 without making a great reach.
The Bears liked LSU’s Matt Flynn, but when he went off the board in the seventh round to, gulp, Green Bay, the club settled on a couple undrafted guys they had interest in starting a while back. Southern Illinois’ Nick Hill and Colorado State’s Caleb Hanie were both brought to Halas Hall on pre-draft visits.
*** Anybody hear Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt on the Score Monday with Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley, friends of Inside the Bears? Nutt, who coached Harrison and wide receiver Marcus Monk at Arkansas, did a dance step and then rolled out of the pocket when asked how defensive tackle Marcus Harrison netted only a one-game suspension after his felony drug arrest. Harrison sat out the game with Troy. The next game with Alabama was kind of important, you know.
The interview with Nutt was terrific though and he’s a colorful guy. Nutt is from the same hometown of Harrison, Little Rock, Ark., and the coach has known him a long time. He said the incident was terribly embarrassing to Harrison, and that he has a solid family background. Nutt predicts troubles are only in the player’s rear-view mirror.
If we come across something later on, we’ll check back in.