Chicago Sun-Times

October 2008 Archives

It could be that the Bears just got an idea what the price will be for a longterm contract extension when it comes to Kyle Orton.

And Orton can thank Aaron Rodgers when he sees him in Green Bay in a little more than two weeks.

That is because the Packers just signed Brett Favre's replacement to a lucrative extension through 2014. Terms have not been disclosed yet but it's been reported that Rodgers received a deal in the range of the $67.5 million, six-year deal Dallas' Tony Romo bagged in the offseason. Significant, too, is the fact that Rodgers and Orton share the same agent, David Dunn.

UPDATING: NFL Network's Adam Schefter reports Rodgers' deal is six years for $65 million with $20 million guaranteed.

The Packers were able to make the move with more than $19 million available in salary-cap room this season. The deadline to write a contract and have it impact this year's cap is Monday. It's not believed the Bears have any business in the works. Rodgers, a first-round pick in 2005, was signed through next year. Orton is also signed through '09 after the one-year extension he signed in March which is worth as much as $4.5 million.

Mike Singletary's Hall of Fame roots are in Chicago with the Bears and that is where the story first broke about the new 49ers coach dropping his pants at halftime in the locker room last Sunday.

San Francisco was trailing Seattle 20-3 after two quarters at Candlestick Park en route to a 34-13 loss in Singletary's debut as the head coach after taking over for the ousted Mike Nolan.

Singletary sent tight end Vernon Davis to the dressing room during the third quarter after he came to the sideline following a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. That sideline exchange as well as Singletary's pointed remarks following the game drew national attention. But it wasn't until Sun-Times sportswriters Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley reported Wednesday morning on WSCR-670 AM that Singletary had dropped his pants during a halftime speech to the team that perhaps the most embarrassing incident became public.

The 49ers acknowledged Thursday that indeed happened and Singletary discussed it earlier today with Singletary's former teammate Dan Hampton and Laurence Holmes on 670 AM. Listen for yourself and you'll see it's clear Singletary wasn't planning on his motivational wardrobe move seeing the light of day, so to speak.

"You know everything that happened during the game, after the game, whatever, that's pretty much me,'' Singletary said. ``That's kind of who I am."

The football team has suggested the move was to emphasize that the 49ers were being spanked by the Seahawks, but as Mulligan relayed on the airwaves that is not how the scene went down.

A popular pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, the San Diego Chargers have stumbled through the first two months of the season, most recently losing a shootout to New Orleans on Sunday in London, the end of a tough trip that began with a loss at Buffalo.

The Bolts are trying to do get things corrected before its too late and to that end they fired defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell today and promoted Ron Rivera to the position. Rivera has served as the Chargers' inside linebackers coach since he was run off from the Bears after the loss in Super Bowl XLI.


Bears find fullback

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Less than 24 hours after losing FB Jason Davis from their practice squad to the Oakland Raiders, a league source says the Bears will sign Jed Collins. Collins is in town and will take a physical today.

Collins, 6-2, 254 pounds, was released from the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad last week. That's the same place Davis came from. Collins, a rookie from Washington State, is a converted tight end. He's not a natural ball carrier, but has receiving skills and will fill in behind Jason McKie on the practice field.

Stay tuned for more information.

Look for the Bears to be in the market for a practice squad fullback.

Jason Davis will sign a deal to join the Oakland Raiders' 53-man roster, his agent Peter Schaffer said this evening.

The Bears signed Davis to the practice squad Sept. 1 and the former player under Ron Turner at Illinois picked up the offense quickly. The Raiders called Davis after losing starting fullback Justin Griffith for the season on Sunday at Baltimore with a torn ACL in his right knee. Their only other fullback is Luke Lawton, who has played mostly on special teams.

Looks like CB's Charles Tillman (shoulders) and Nathan Vasher (right wrist) will get a few more days to heal up. Neither was armed with a helmet when the Bears began practice this morning at Halas Hall. It's believed the team will be at full strength or close to it when winless Detroit (0-7) visits Soldier Field Sunday.

DT Tommie Harris, WR Marty Booker and SLB Hunter Hillenmeyer also appeared to be missing from action.

CB Nathan Vasher had pins removed from his right wrist Wednesday, three weeks after surgery to insert them to stabilize his hand. Vasher did not practice Thursday, but this is about the final step in his return to the playing field.

The veteran has practiced some in the last three weeks but has missed three consecutive games.

Tommie Harris' fumble in the second quarter last Sunday proved to be more costly than originally thought.

Just ask Brian Urlacher, who was zapped by the NFL this week, fined $20,000 for abusive conduct toward a game official, a league spokesman said.

Urlacher drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after Harris had recovered Jerious Norwood's fumble at the Bears' 23-yard line and then inexplicably coughed the ball up, turning it back over to the Falcons. Replays showed Harris was attempting to lateral the ball to teammates. He claimed he was trying to get up and run with the ball.

The Bears called for a replay challenge, insisting Harris was down by contact, and lost. Urlacher said something to an official and was penalized. That moved the ball to the Bears' 12-yard line and helped lead to Jason Elam's 32-yard field goal that put Atlanta ahead 9-0.

Veteran guard Terrence Metcalf has been suspended four games without pay for violation of the league's policy on steroids and related substances.

Tyler Reed was re-signed to the practice squad today.

The guard was a sixth-round pick in 2006 and was let go last week to make room for punter Zac Atterberry.

The Bears have one spot open on the practice squad and could perhaps go with a defensive back based on the injuries there. They could also target a wide receiver for practice purposes after letting Mike Hass go.

Vasher out again

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Cornerback Nathan Vasher will miss his second consecutive game as he heads the list of inactives for the Bears.

Vasher had a pin inserted in his right wrist less than two weeks ago and the decision is curious because coach Lovie Smith said Friday that Vasher would be available to play. If that's the case, he was deemed not needed for this game. Vasher also said Friday he expected to play. Corey Graham will start in his place again.

Defensive tackle Anthony Adams is also inactive with Tommie Harris taking his place.

Based on a pair of practice squad moves Saturday, you can draw conclusions that the Bears are getting healthier.

Punter Zac Atterberry and wide receiver Mike Hass were released from the practice squad, creating two openings.

Atterberry took the place of Brad Maynard in practice this week but anything that was ailing Maynard must be fine as Atterberry flew home to Texas. Maynard was listed on the injury report on Friday as probable and the team did not disclose an injury, calling it "rest." Maynard's typical days to punt in practice are Wednesdays and Fridays. Maynard missed a game last season with a pulled groin muscle and has had hamstring issues in the past as well.

Hass departs two weeks are returning to the club, a sign that Brandon Lloyd may be able to return to the practice field some time this coming week. Lloyd will miss his second game at Atlanta as he has sprained the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. If the Bears want, they could rest Lloyd two more weeks by having him sit out next week against Minnesota because the club's bye week follows that division game.

Tommie Harris returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since serving his one-game suspension for a violation of team rules--being repeatedly late to team functions.

He was limited in practice because of his left knee and was asked if his physical contraints led to his frustration.

"No, it's vice versa,'' Harris said. "I think spiritually, that's what led to all that. My conviction is terrible. I carry a lot of stuff. I carry a lot of stress, different things that I know I shouldn't. That's what happens when you disconnect with your source and I feel like I'm going back to what's worked for me since the beginning. That's where I'm at. I look forward to seeing you guys Sunday. Just pray for me. Don't talk about me. Just pray for me. Trust me, it works.

Zac Atterberry is taking the long way from Green Bay to Halas Hall.

He flew back to his homestate Texas on Monday following a tryout with the Packers. He will arrive at Halas Hall today and will sign a contract to join the practice squad.

Atterberry punted well for the Bears in training camp and the preseason and his agent Rob Sheets said the Bears want to take a look at him six weeks after letting him go. It's not common for teams to have two punters but the Bears could be taking a look just in case something crops up with Brad Maynard down the road. Maynard has been doing well directionally punting and has landed 15 of his 31 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Cornerback Nathan Vasher is inactive for today's game vs. Detroit and will be replaced by Corey Graham in the lineup.

Just more than eight weeks after surgery, Chris Williams was cleared for full participation in practice.

The first-round pick from Vanderbilt took part in all of practice Friday for the first time. It was the next step in his return to the field which could come before November at this point.

"It's real encouraging,'' Williams said. "I'm ready to play, know what I mean?"

Williams had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back Aug. 6. He returned to practice on a limited basis two weeks ago and now it's a matter of just getting him game ready, something offensive coordinator Ron Turner admitted isn't the easiest thing with a lineman in practice. Afterward Friday, Williams was running sprints that were timed by trainer Bobby Slater.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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