Chicago Sun-Times

Another safety goes off the board

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Strike an actual free safety off the board.

Eugene Wilson, the Illinois native who played for Ron Turner in college, has re-signed with the Houston Texans, agreeing to a three-year contract.

The two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots was considered a possibility for the Bears. He played one season in Houston last year and was quickly promoted over Will Demps. Given that move by then Texans secondary coach Jon Hoke, who is now in that position with the Bears, Wilson was considered a player the Bears might target in free agency. Not any more.

In a related move, Houston cut ties with the veteran Demps. But with him behind pushed to the back by Hoke and the Texans, that's an unlikely pairing. There is another safety with a background with Hoke available, C.C. Brown, but he might be more of a strong safety.

Houston also cut Ephraim Salaam, the veteran offensive tackle. That's noteworthy because the Bears made a move to sign him in 2004. The Bears are going to have to find a veteran tackle somewhere. It's unknown how the club views him now.

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It's looking more and more like the Bears will have to draft a FS in the first 3 rounds. I think it will happen in the 3rd round with the compensatory pick we get from Berrian. With that being said resigning St. Clair or a RT in FA would be the best solution. Then the team can draft a rookie in the first, Pat White I would love in the 2nd if he is available, if not they will probably go receiver in the second or receiver in the third if White is there. I really like the upside to White and with his athleticism he will not only push Orton, he will only get better learning his 1st season. But that in itself is a pipe dream. Reality is Angelo will mess up the draft as always.

So RT 1st, White or receiver 2nd, DE and FS 3rd, G 4th, SLB 5th, C 7th and probably CB with another 7th(comp pick)


tom, why does everyone just assume the bears are going to get a third round pick for berrian? that is not a given. given his production last year, i'd be surprised if it's anything higher than a 5th round draft pick.

what a fine mess the bears have created at the FS position.


Pittsburgh's Nate Washington, New Orleans' Devery Henderson and New England's Jabar Gaffney are near the top of the list for free-agent receivers, any thoughts on if the Bears going for any of these guys

I would love to see the Bears sign Mark Tausher RT from Green Bay. They want to resign him so that fill a huge need for the Bears and leave a big rival with a huge hole to fill. I know he is coming of knee surgery but that would be an upgrade and a down grade for the Packers.

Tomk, I think it's going to be best player available at a position of need. It Could be WR in rd1 or DE, or even Corner if Jenkins is there(he is being projected as a FS now). He will probably take at least two DB's he has done that 4 out of the last 5 years, he may not take any interior linemen in this draft, if he does it will be 1 not two. Angelo will also take a LB and any value pick that drops, last year it was Harrison and Bowman. Niether were needs but he grabed them anyway. Angelo has always been huge on Value, if a guy drops because of injury issues Angelo views that as a value pick. It's always about Value, last Year Otah and Albert were rated lower than Williams, Williams dropped because teams were concerned about his back, Angelo did not care if his back was hurt, because Williams was now a value pick because he had dropped out of the top ten so he skipped the healthy guys and grabbed him.

He will not reach for a guy like Loadholt who holds no first rd value. If Crabtree drops he will grab him, if Curry some how drops he will grab him or trade down with a team who is willing to pay a lot for him. Value, Value, Value.

We'll know a lot more about what direction Angelo is going in the draft as soon as free agency gets going. As of right now, right tackle and free safety are the Bears biggest needs.

In week 17 vs the Texans Danieal Manning was at free safety, if the season were to start right now, I can almost guarantee Manning would again be at free safety. Another thing to think about is what Angelo said about Manning before, Angelo said, "Mike Brown might have got in Mannings way as far as developing." If no big time free agent free safety is signed, I think Manning will get another shot at the position. There isn't much out there as far as free agent safeties right now, maybe New England's James Sanders a 5th year player out of Draft wise there isn't much out there either, maybe Alabama's Rashad Johnson or Western Michigan's Louis Delmas? For everyone who thinks Angelo is gonna go defensive back early, keep one thing in mind, if you watched the combine you know one thing, the DB's were....slow. Again, we'll know more in the coming days, my bet right now would be Manning at free safety unless a free agent is signed.

As far as a right tackle, the fact the Bears haven't made an attempt to bring back John St.Clair could be an indication they have someone else in mind. Atlanta's Tyson Clabo might be the best available. Clabo is only a 4 year vet who came on this year for the Falcons at right tackle. Clabo is young enough to be more than a stop gap, and is NFL proven. The Bears could ink Clabo to a 6 year deal and fix their right tackle problem for awhile, if not Clabo maybe Jaguar tackle Khalif Barnes who at 6-5 325lbs might have been out of position at left tackle in Jacksonville, the Bears could bring him in to play right tackle a position Barnes is better suited for. Maybe Ray Willis of Seattle or Stacy Andrews?? Anyone of these guys is young enough to be more than a stop gap. It should be interesting whoever it is GO BEARS!!,-bargain-&-wild-card-free-agents

fyi look at the nice comment on Tank! Second chance really did him alot of good, why does it take getting away from the Bears for some of these players to get their head right?
I would def. take Tank back asap!!! sheee..t it's going to be a long Free Agency period waiting on Jerry.

Wilson took money from a team that knows his skills and where he fits, Houston is an up and coming team and he is familiar with the players and scheme. Good signing for them bummer for the BEARS, my thoughts are to still look at McAllister and consider switching him to free, than it takes the pressure off who we draft to come right in and start....of course moving McAllister carries some risk, but he is a ball hawk with good cover skills and could allow Payne to play in the box where he is best suited. Kevin a. Like the names you list but would also throw Sean Smith in there as well he showed good speed at the combine has the size to play safety and free safety is where most scouts project him. Dan most of those saying the compensation would be 3rd rounder are basing it on earlier piece from Brad who indicated the possiblity, also Tomk4054, not sure the BEARS can take a chance on white with 2nd rounder the needs are too obvious that we need guys to contribute immediately if we are to get back in the playoffs, the team's window is closing we must get back this year or go in another direction....Go BEARS

Dan- from what I have read and heard a third round compensatory pick from what Berrian did this year sounds about right. He had about the same production as players comparable to him last year and their teams received 3rd round picks.

Here's to hoping.


Kevin I agree with you about Manning, as DB's in the draft, I have heard a strange rumor that there is something wrong with the official times on the RB's and DB's they all ran about a 1/10 of a second slower than normal. As for the best safety in the class Malcom Jenkins is now being projected to FS and Davis is now the number 1 corner, also, Sean Smith from Utah is also probably another guy who will play FS and after Jenkins will be the best FS in the class. pretty sure Brandon Albert was off the board by the time the Bears drafted..didn't Denver nab him at 10 or 11? also i remember the consensus on this message board was that Otah was a 'so-so' prospect. hindsight is 20/20. that said, both those guys were studs last year. but who knows.

at any rate, anyone know the deal about that OT from Buffalo that got cut today. apparently he was a stud when he went up there from Wash. wats the deal w/ him?

I am betting St. Clair will not sign for what the Bears are offering early, Da is not going to offer alot, as they are known to be cheap, and it's only smart for St. Clair to wait and see as someone will want a Offense Lineman that can play everything except center. The Bears offer will still be there if St. Clair does not like other offers. and actually thats good for us as it means we can still negotiate with a RT in Free Agency, so I am hoping the St. Clair sign takes a little bit.
I agree Kevin there are options out there maybe not Pro Bowlers but decent options none the less and better than St. Clair or what we have now.
and if we can grab 1 good player in Free Agency it really changes our Draft strategy big time, puts us in the cat birds seat.(whatever that means - it's a good thing lol

It's 2 1/2 hours before Free Agency begins and I just saw that the Cowgirls are trying to trade S Roy Williams for a late round pick. The move is to free up cap space and I'm sure to try to pick some extra picks since they lost their 1st, 3rd and 6th round picks to the Lions.

What do you guys think, would Roy Williams be a nice bandaid until we can find a FS?

pretty sure Roy Williams couldn't cover you nowadays...he's def a SS and is known as a run stopper. or at least, he used to be.

Kevin and Crieghton:

Common Manning is not going to be the Bears Free Safety, LOvie has already said he is the nickel. And I believe he will also be the Kick returner.

Jenkins could be a possibility at Free Safety but the Bears have quite a few corners and one may tun out to be the safety either Tillman or Graham in my estimation.

Pick up a free agent ROT and the Bears go linebacker in the draft at #18 because of best value or available talent. Time to think that Urlacher can be traded and the Bears would receive value and this is the best Linebacking group of rookies in years.

It is time to make the move for the next middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears.

chitownbear, I agree that Sean Smith is an intriguing prospect. Theres a lot to like about Smith, he's got great size at 6-4 210lbs, so the bigger receivers the Bears face in the north shouldn't be a problem for him. The guy can play the ball having 9 ints and 15 pass breakups over the last two seasons. My only problem with Smith is his lack of experience at safety, Smith was a corner the last two seasons, and began his college career at receiver. If the Bears were to bring him in, my question is, how long would it take for him to be ready to man the free safety position? Chicago needs a guy right now. Don't get me wrong, Smith could be a great safety in the makings, and back in 2000 the Bears drafted a guy named Urlacher who didn't seem to have a problem going from colleg safety to NFL linebacker, so Smith could be legit. The more I read on this kid, the more I like him. If the Bears think he's ready to come in and contribute, bring him in GO BEARS!!

Kevin A. your details on Smith are something to be concerned about but remember with the spread offenses they run in college most db's play zone and read and react to the ball basically what the free safety's job is, that is one reason we are hearing the talk that Jenkins from Ohio St may be selected as a free safety, speed issues and ability to makes plays on the ball. We agree we need a safety to come in and play or a veteran who can come in until the draft pick is ready, I'm just adding Smith to the list of names we should consider for the role. My feelings on McAllister also are based on this premise, remember Rod Woodson was a great corner with size that shifted to free safety when he lost a step and was productive for another 5 years in the league, this guy could do the same thing for us. The Ravens will try to re-sign him for less due to the injury,but he could be a find for us.....Go BEARS

Let's face it Angelo has said essentially the same thing all along. Coaching is going to get the job done next season and he doesn't plan to change things up much by delving into the free agent market.

Dahli, you need four corners on the Bears. You have Tillman and Vasher as your starters, the third corner has to be a starter for when Vasher goes down again. If you have not heard there is some disagreement between Lovie and Angelo as to what Manning will be doing, Angelo feels he is in the mix for the FS Job. There is no chance Tillman gets moved, which leaves Graham and Bowman, both projected to saftey comming out of college. But if Graham starts over Vasher, then you can only move Bowman to the position and he has had 3 season ending injuries in a row and is a major health risk.

Sorry Dahli but Angelo will not be LB shopping this draft, it's a good class for tweeners and OLB but if you want to replace Lach in the Tampa 2 MIC you better get Curry cause nobody else would be suited to it and Curry is not falling below the 5th pick in the draft. At ILB, Rey Maualuga has 4.83 speed and is ideal for ILB in a 3-4, Laurinaitis has 4.82 speed, outside of Curry none of these guys has Lach's speed and athletic ability, even though he has slowed down some he is still better than these guys with the exception of Curry.

To give you an idea of his athletic ability
At 6-4, 258 pounds Urlacher 40 yard dash 4.57 bench 225 27 times. His fastest recorded 40 time was a 4.48 His Vertical jump was 34, Broad Jump 10'02, 3 cone 6.94,

Curry 6-2 254, 40 yard dash 4.56, Bench 25 reps, Vertical Jump 37, Broad Jump 10'04, 3 cone 6.84, fastest 40 4.49.

My guess is someone falls out of the top 10 and Angelo grabs him, could be Crabtree, Jenkins, Sanchez, E Brown, if none of them drops then best bet is probably someone like Larry English, Ebon Bitton, Mike Oher, or Mike Johnson.

One thing needs to be remembered about the RT position, not a lot of GM's think that it deserves a first round pick. I believe Angelo is one of them. Also Angelo is not known for grabing LB's in the first or second round. He will usually go after DL, RB, DB, LT, QB, in rounds 1-2.

Sense 2003 he has chosen 1 LT, 2 RB's, 1 QB, 3 DB's, 2DT's, 2 DE's, 1 WR, 1 TE and 5 trades. So his number 1 option is to trade, then D line, then DB's then RB, then QB, LT, TE, and WR. No LB.

We don't need a RB or at least not a starter, we don't need a LT according to him, we may not need WR help according to him, we don't need a TE, or a DT. So that leaves DB, DE, and QB. Larry English, Mike Johnson and Malcom Jenkins are all solid bets if they are there. Brian Cushing not so much. If he does not see the value Angelo will trade down. I think Britton has an outside shot but thats it.

dahlillama, your right, the Bears probably will keep Manning at nickle, but I don't see Charles Tillman or Corey Graham being moved to safety either. Its starting to look like 2nd year safety Craig Steltz is gonna get a shot at free safety. He could work out nicely there. Did we see enough of Steltz to know for sure if he's the man for the job, no, but Steltz does have the ability to play the ball. At LSU Steltz was a ball-hawk, as a junior he set a record at LSU with an int in 4 straight games. Steltz did have a nice pick in the endzone this season vs the Lions to save a game for the Bears. Angelo seems to like Steltz, we'll have to wait and see how it all unfolds GO BEARS!!

I like Steltz alot - couldn't expect much his first year as that had to be an eyeopener against pro WR but I am not sure about moving his position so you said Kevin we simply don't know though, he could do it I feel.
Everyone was high on that pick, I feel he was a little overwhelmed his first year, he will learn though.

I think the bears should sign Will Demps, he would fit into the starter position as an excellent team player. He just needs a chance to prove he can do the job.
bear fan

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 26, 2009 8:51 AM.

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