Strike one of the name safeties off the board.
Not that the Bears would have considered Gibril Wilson any way. Wilson didn't waste any time finding work after getting served his walking papers in Oakland earlier this week, agreeing to a deal with the Miami Dolphins, according to Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com.
Wilson doesn't fit what the Bears need--a free safety with range to play the deep post. He's a classic in-the-box safety who struggles the further you move him away from the line of scrimmage. It was just a year ago that Wilson pulled down a $39 million, six-year contract to leave the then defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants for the Raiders. Some experiment that turned out to be.
Wilson's landing in Miami
makes it less likely the Dolphins will look to re-sign Yeremiah Bell, a veteran safety who will become a free agent when the clock strikes 11 tonight (Bell has reportedly agreed to terms on a $20 million, four-year extension). Bears general manager Jerry Angelo expressed optimism fourth-round pick Craig Steltz could become the free safety for the Bears. He said players who do well on special teams have a solid track record of making the transition to defense. The question is whether or not Steltz is best suited as a strong safety, a position Kevin Payne will likely occupy.
Keep your eye on the market moving forward today. Some more big names could fall before free agency opens. Wide receiver Torry Holt could be cut in St. Louis if the Rams don't find any takers and based on the veteran's contract, that's not likely to happen. Stay tuned.