Chicago Sun-Times

Big names continue to fall from free-agent market

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INDIANAPOLIS--Two of the biggest names that could have reached the free market have been crossed off the list.

As expected, Carolina reached terms on a contract with left tackle Jordan Gross. He'll get $30.5 million over the first three years of a six-year contract.

Let's interrupt for a second to ask the question: What recession? Nnamdi Asomugha will receive $45.3 million in a three-year contract. Oakland made the move preventing the All-Pro cornerback from having to be paid. Speaking of pay, Colts cornerback Kelvin Hayden landed a $43 million, five-year contract with $22 million guaranteed.

So, what could have been a stout free-agent class now looks pretty weak after you get past defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Free agency opens Feb. 27 and there might not be much in the way of fireworks when it begins. Peppers has reportedly listed four teams he's willing to work out a contract with for a trade and the Bears are not one of them. The Panthers have placed the franchise tag on him.

*** Here's a report that Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin is willing to consider a contract reworking to remain with the Cardinals. He has two years left on his contract.

*** Oklahoma offensive tackle Phil Loadholt said he had an informal meeting with Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand Wednesday night.

*** Ex-Bears linebackers coach Lloyd Lee is here seeking a job. Lee had interviews with Detroit and Tampa Bay but didn't land in those places.

We'll check in with more later.

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37 Comments

I think this begs the question: even if every single one of the best free agents from this class were available, would the Bears go after any of them?

NOBODY, I mean NOBODY will come here as long as Orton is our starting QB!!!!! ORTON SUCKS!!!!!!!!!

The clouds just keep hovering over us. This is getting menotonous. I pray that we the fans get to see a true eye-popper from Angie in the FA instead face-in-the-hands FA. I don't know about you guys, but I am tired of teams like the Viqueens being true businessmen and taking necessary risks while our office does nothing but continue with this foolish conservative route that clearly goes nowhere. I guess in Angelos world, four lefts don't make a square and constantly repeating the same action gets you new results. Take another left here, i think we took the wrong left two lefts ago.

Who cares??? You don't build a team through free agency!! Unless you're the Cowgirls or Yankees. Draft smart and get a new QB!!!

With the long offseason and still another week until free agency gets underway, Rex Grossman is getting a little antsy:

By NeckBeardSucks on February 19, 2009 7:32 AM
If I told you once, I told you a million times......nobody wants to come here with Orton as starting QB!!!!!!!!.....He totally SUCKS and everybody knows it..............

By NeckBeardSucks on February 19, 2009 7:38 AM
Again.......If I told you once, I told you a million times......NOBODY will come here as long as Orton is the starting QB.....he totally SUCKS, and everyone knows it.....(except us)

By NeckBeardSucks on February 19, 2009 3:33 PM
NOBODY, I mean NOBODY will come here as long as Orton is our starting QB!!!!! ORTON SUCKS!!!!!!!!!

As Kyle Orton always says, "If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you do succeed!!"

LT Mike Oher also had a meeting with the Bears. In fact he had the first interview. Phil is the 2nd best RT in the class. Andre Smith is the first. Both can play LT but they really are more RT's. Oher is really almost a pure LT.

Ben the answer to your question is that the Bears believe that any of there players compare really well to every player in the NFL. If you don't know what that means, it mean Hels NO!!

Hey neckbeard what's your deal? What the hell gripe do you have against Orton? He has a chance to be a very solid quarterback in this league, and another weapon or two at wideout and some help up front would certainly help. I think the sky is the limit for this kid, and his work-ethic has shown that he will more than likely overcome his weak areas. Neckbeard I think you need to give Orton a chance to develop, that is what needs to happen with any quarterback who becomes successful from Montana to Manning. But just from your obsurd comments you probably don't give a crap about that anyway, your the kind of guy who enjoy's being negative and making and ass of himself.

If Bears line coach Harry Hiestand had a meeting with both Oklahoma tackle Phil Loadholt, and Ole Miss tackle Michael Oher, this could be a pretty good indication what direction the Bears are gonna go in the draft. I would like a free agent tackle, but with the Panthers inking Gross today, the pickings are getting pretty slim.

I've heard earlier the Bears liked Phil Loadholt, the guy is a monster at 6-8 340lbs, and could open up some pretty big holes for Matt Forte. If the Bears like him enough, they might have to take him at #18, both the Eagles, who like the bigger linemen, and the Steelers could snag Loadholt at the end of the first round.

I like Ole Miss tackle Michael Oher, he could slip to the Bears at #18. With Oher, you want to watch his wonderlic score, the knock on Oher, and the reason he is slipping down some draft boards is, some scouts feel Oher might struggle to grasp sophisticated concepts in the NFL. Pay attention to his wonderlic score, this could determine where he ends up. Other than the mental issues, Oher has the makings of a great tackle with his athletic ability. Scouts love Oher for his ability to out-quick, out-muscle, and man handle his opponents. I say have Hiestand test him, see if he can handle some of the Bears playbook, and if he's good to go, draft him if he slips, this kid could be something special with his athletic ability. I'd take him or Loadholt, the Bears need some young talent on their line, let the combine begin GO BEARS!!

Kevin A. I like your assessment of Oher. Another guy to keep in mind in the 1st rd is Britton.

I'm fearing the Bears will fall in love with Loadholt. He's massive and not all that flabby, but was eaten alive by Orakopo. I know they would move him to RT, but the speed in the NFL is so much faster he strikes me as another Aaron Gibson.

I think the Bears will take OL in both the 1st and 3rd rds this year.

Bears should trade down in the first round for a 2nd and 4th pick and grab QB josh Freeman since they are going to keep Orton at QB this year, sad as that is.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LINE

wmfights, Arizona tackle Eben Britton is my favorite prospect, and if the Bears don't sign a starting caliber free agent, the tackle I would like to see the Bears draft in the first at #18, but I wouldn't mind Loadholt or Oher either. I just can't wait to see what the Bears do free agent wise, this should give us a better understanding of what the Bears are gonna do in april GO BEARS!!

butkus' love child: "Bears should trade down in the first round for a 2nd and 4th pick and grab QB josh Freeman since they are going to keep Orton at QB this year, sad as that is."

If Chicago traded their #18 pick and got the 1st pick in the 2nd and 4th rounds they still would be getting a very crappy deal. If you look at the Draft Valuation board you would be giving up a 900 points for 692 points worth of picks. This is the equivalent of simply forfeiting the 12th overall pick in the 3rd round ... so your plan probably makes perfect sense to Jerry Angelo.

Once again, trading back is NOT the answer with all of the holes on this Bears team unless you are getting incredible value like a late 1st-rounder and early 2nd-rounder.

I said it in an earlier thread since most people on here come solely to bash Kyle Orton ... You cannot have a makeshift o-line and the worst WR corp in the NFL and then bash the quarterback for your offense sucking the last several years. Jerry Angelo needs to bolster this offense line, find a #1 or #2 WR (instead of a bunch of 3's and below) and fill the glaring need at FS. Can he do it all in one year? Doubtful since he's been here 6 years and here's where we're at.

Kevin,

Don't worry, Oher will be able to read and write. It's the perennial powers in the SEC, like LSU, Alabama and Florida that have "remedial math" as graduate courses for football players.

I actually think that a player like that at right tackle might be the future. Everybody talks about having a massive road grader, but those guys are starting to get beat on the edge with the zone blitz. "Book" thinking was that the LDE had to take on both the tight end and tackle against the run. They needed to have some bulk. That meant the guy blocking them, the RT, could trade size for "feet".

Is the league is changing on defense? Defenses are trending to massive d-tackles with edge rushers on both the right side and left side of the defense. A right tackle with a skill-set for left might not be a bad idea.

What about the run? Watch the slow motion. Tackles are run-blocking in space and having to sustain those blocks. They don't have to drive people off the line of scrimmage as much as some people think.


Kevin A. Loadholt is a 2nd rd pick. Robinson and Johnson OG's (might have ability to move to RT) are also possible 2nd rd picks. I'm with you on Britton a swing tackle is always great to have especially if Williams doesn't recover from the back problem.

I don't see OL help in FA.

neckbeard will you leave when Grossman goes away? I hope so, I am so tired of your unreasonable attacks on Orton. Go to Tampa with Rex and haunt their blogs. Load up with offensive linemen in the first three rounds then go after an WR in Freeman is there in the second though grab him. GO BEARS, GO AWAY NECKBEARD.

I think teams are getting more and more aggressive with signing their own free agents before they hit the open market, even when their deals are up. We are going to be looking at fill-in guys for the most part, but if we finally focus on the o-line in the draft, we only need a fill in guy for the time being, while the young player is groomed to take over.

Ideally, we would get our center and one guard of the future in the third round. It may be tough to get Unger or Luigs in the third, so we might have to jump the gun and take them in the second, or settle for Wood in the third. We should be able to bank on getting a 3rd round comp pick for Berrian, so we will have 4 picks in the first 3 rounds. If we get both positions in the third, we can get an OT and WR in 1 and 2, in whatever order makes sense. If we go OT and C in 1 and 2, then a guy like Robiskie could be the choice in the third along with a guard.

Neckbeardsucks- everyone in this chatroom is a little dumber because of your post. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

No Qb can succeed with the Bears' current group of wideouts. Why does everyone harp on the QB when the O-line didn't block well, and the receivers were unable to get open or catch the ball consistently???

Neckbeard, you hate Kyle Orton. Anyone who reads the blog for 5 seconds every month knows that, but please give it a rest. Jerry Angelo doesn't care what you think.

Brad, if we do manage to snag Michael Oher or Eben Britton, do you think the Bears would put Williams at RT?

As far as free agency goes, I'm fairly certain Jerry Angelo will get some good deals, but nothing that will excite the average fan. The free agency money should dry up pretty quickly, like it seemed to in baseball, so this year should be a great year to add depth at a resonable price. We all know that JA is more of a believer in depth than superstar talent, anyway.

Go Bears! (Yes, the entire team, not just the 52 Bears other than Orton)

All the Bears need is for a few teams ahead of them to get distracted and draft "big name" players. Then one of these really good offensive lineman will shockingly be available at 18. This would help both the run game and the passing attack and we can play ball-control football and win with defense and special teams - which is Bear Football!!

Ish wrote:
"I don't know about you guys, but I am tired of teams like the Viqueens being true businessmen and taking necessary risks while our office does nothing but continue with this foolish conservative route that clearly goes nowhere."

Really, you would rather be the Vikings. Ok flights to MN leave every hour enjoy the white Easters they have. lol

As the Vikings being better than us let's look at the record. Since 2004 when the Bears got their current leaders the Vikings are 41-39, have won the Division once and have a playoff record of 1-2. And the crappy Angelo-Smith led Bears have a 5 yr record of 45-35, 2 Division championships and a SB appearance and 2-2 playoff record.

Since the Bears last SB, the Lovie and Jerry show are .500 (16-16) and have not been to the playoffs. The Vikings are 18-14 and are 0-1 in the playoffs. Yes, the last two year have been disappointing here but the grass is not all that green in Minnesota probably because it is covered in snow.

MD Kevin,

You need to look at the last 2 years. Minnesota is a team LOADED with talent. World-beaters? No. But they have more than enough talent to win the NFC North hands down. The problem is QB. Period.

Lots of people on here biatch about Orton, Grossman, etc. but the Viqueens have to be the dumbest team in history. They have big-name talent on both sides of the ball yet entrust possibly the worst QB I've seen in my life to guide their playoff chances. Sure they went with Frerotte eventually but just think if they landed a mediocre starter!?!

I'm no fan of Rex (didn't want him drafted and still know for sure he'll never be the answer here ... let me REITERATE I DO NOT BELIEVE "Rex is our quarterback" - to quote Lovie) but if he goes to Minnesota, you could see him explode. A good o-line, deep threat, the best RB in the NFL, a top-notch defense ... and a CHIP on his shoulder the size of Mt. Olympus. Rex can beat divisional teams and don't you think he'd love to stick it to Chicago fans twice a season??? That scares me. I don't think he's a good NFL QB - mediocre or below ... but that would be a HUGE improvement in Minnesota who is already loaded with talent and looking for a guy who could lead them to the playoffs. Minny needs a QB and Grossman could blow this division wide open if he were to go there and it PAINS me to no end to admit that or even entertain the idea.

wmfights, I realize Loadholt is a projected 2nd rounder, my point was, if the Bears like him enough, they might have to reach for him in the first, be it taking him at #18 or trading down a couple picks and then take him. Sometimes if a team has a huge hole, like the Bears do at right tackle, and theres a prospects available that can fill the need, the team will have to reach by taking the player a little higher than he might be projected to go. Example, last season when the Bears took Matt Forte in the second, Forte was a projected third rounder, but Chicago had a hole at running back and liked Forte, if the Bears were to wait till the third to get Forte, they would have never got him. I was just saying if the Bears feel strong enough about Loadholt and feel he can fill a need area like they did about Forte, they might have to reach for him before someone else nabs him GO BEARS!!


Yes sir, I said I would rather have the business techniques the Viqueens have, save for there handling the issue of their stadium. I don't know about you but I have not met a successful entrepuneaur (probably misspelled that) that did not take chances, be them foolish or smart. JA certainly appears to be affraid to take such risks as the Queens did on players like Allen and Bernie (who with the right QB will burn the Ds) I hope to God I am wrong that JA will not take a chance this year, but so far he has proven to live up to that standard of conservatism. And with all due respects, sir, I don't claim to be the #1 Bears fan of the world, but I am in fact a HUGE loyalist to our team, no matter what happens. So please don't impugn my team loyalty. I loved them since my pops took me to my first game and I will love them to the day of my grave. And Lord willing my children will start to love them as well. I beleive we here piss and moan because of our love for the Nave and Orange, and that our hearts bleed those colors. Thanks.

Da Church: I couldn't agree with you more on if God forbid they get the right QB they will probably do some damage to their opponents. If they get the right QB o-line and the killer 1-2 pucn running game the possess, we will be stomped on twice a year.

Da Bears!

I have been a Bears fan for over 30 years, but it is getting hard to understand the logic of management...Kyle Orton is not the answer, he would not even make a good backup. This orginization owes Rex Grossman a REAL opportunity to win a Super Bowl for this franchise..the Offensive line of 2007 was one of the worst in recent Bears history, and to judge him based on that is not fair. Their should be more loyalty towards for a QB who led this team to two home playoff sellouts (Money in the Owners pocket) a Super Bowl, and a new fat contract for the Coach...but the pattern management has shown is that they do not know how to develop young talent...Let's see, Chris Harris a safety we let go, is now a Pro Bowler...Thomas Jones running back traded, is now a Pro Bowler, Marc Columbo tackle traded is now a Pro Bowler...this maybe a stretch, but Cedric Benson look really really good for the Bengals. Now if they let Rex Grossman go, I predict that he will go to the Pro Bowl, while Kyle Orton watches TV in January for us...Papa Bear Halas is rolling over in is grave...this team should have made the playoffs last year on talent alone...but since the coaches and management are stuck on stupid, if they do not win the NFC north...Lovie Smith, all of his coaches, Jerry Angelo, and Ted Phillips should be replaced...My opinion is that they blame Rex Grossman for the Super Bowl loss in 2007, any team that gives up 458 yards on defense, does not deserve to win.

Neckbeard Sucks:

People don't want to come to Chicago because Kyle Orton is a "game manager" and the fans and coaching blamed Rex for all their problems. It's not just Kyle Orton. It's the team and the fans. And they saw how Rex was thrown under the bus despite the many problems at OL and RB.

Look at Tony Romo's and Eli Manning's records. They've had bad seasons and games too.

And don't drop a chart of numbers from 06 of games where Rex had low QB ratings. In one of those games, the great Tom Brady's rating was under/around 40 in 40 mph winds. In another at Minnesota, Rex did throw the game winning touchdown. I will concede the Arizona game--bad Rex did make a grand showing that day!

He's a headcase for sure--but he's a winner. Shame on Lovie and the fans for running him out of town.

Just like Jimmy Johnson said: "Rex could start for my football team anytime."

Just like John Madden said: "Kyle Orton is a game manager. When you've been labeled a game manager, it usually means you can't play."

Is anyone here going to argue with Jimmy or John?

Granted, Kyle is a very good game manager. If the Bears are going to keep him, they need to focus on talent that doesn't involve a vertical passing game.

TJ, Lloyd, Moose, Berrian, all wanted to play with Rex. All WR's act like Eddie Van Halen, but hey, they know who can get 'em the damn ball! Right Keyshawn?

Back to Hester. WHY IS DEVIN HESTER ON THIS TEAM IF THE COACHING STAFF IS NOT COMMITTED TO GETTING HIM THE BALL? They took Devin off KR and then fail to get him the ball because Kyle can't throw deep!

Finally, for those of you wanting to draft a QB: HA! Do you know what Angelo's record is with quarterbacks? Drafting a quarterback, in any round, is like Russian roulet.

Yes, if Rex goes to the Vikes we will be hurtin for certin. They have it all except the QB, and Rex already proved he can take a team with talent to the big game, now wouldn't that serve Angelo/Bears mgmt. right for drafting/Free Agent misses. I almost wish it were so just to get JA head out of his a..
Grossman to Berrian TD! and over and over and over lolol
Peterson TD!!! Pressure's off Grossman/Berrian just like it was with Jones/Ced tandem running backs.


Is that this blog with the POPUP AUDIO LOUD `Congratulations'!!! or do I have a mole?

bgduece22
good examples of players that are not a Bear. and I agree our D lost the Super Bowl not the offense, but I am not sure we had the talent last year as Jerry did ignore the Oline for years and the D well....that was Coaching - look at the soft corners and the backers playing like nose tackles then trying to RUN back to coverage and getting tired asap, and not playing Adams till the season was gone.

Randy,
I see your point but this team gave away three games last year, by the coaches alone...Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Carolina...winning any one of these games would have put us in the playoffs...winning all three would have given us a the number seed in the NFC with tiebreakers...this team should have won 12 games last year, despite Kyle Orton...and that is the difference bewteen a contender and a pretender, for the fact the Kyle Orton can not make all the throws a QB needs to make for the defense to respect him, and to have cover the whole field, this team will be limited to five to nine wins...this is the NFL and when you do not have to play the whole field defense it is almost like having 13 men on the field for defense. At least with Rex Grossman, they have to play the whole field, which would take us from a pretender to a contender. Rex Grossman was the player of the month for the entire NFL for september 2006...what does Kyle Orton bring to the table.

DaChurch,

My point was you can't point to the Vikings being better than us as Ish did when their record does not bare (Bear) it out.

However, I agree with you that only a QB is keeping Minnesota from being a serious SB threat. And I agree if Grossman goes to the Vikings -- watch out.

bgduece22: "Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Carolina...winning any one of these games would have put us in the playoffs...winning all three would have given us a the number seed in the NFC with tiebreakers...this team should have won 12 games last year, despite Kyle Orton...and that is the difference bewteen a contender and a pretender, for the fact the Kyle Orton can not make all the throws a QB needs to make for the defense to respect him, and to have cover the whole field, this team will be limited to five to nine wins"

Wait wait wait wait ... you are REALLY special aren't ya sunshine. In one breath you say this team should have won 12 games last year and point to the defense breaking down. They you say the team should only win 5-9 games each year with Orton.

Does the term "cognitive disonance" mean anything to you?!?

You can't have it both ways. Either Orton sucks and Chicago cannot win with him, or Chicago should have never won 9 games let alone 12 last season. Pick a lane, moron.

BTW, I had trouble posting so "Anonymous" above is me. Sorry about that ... I need to direct idiots where to focus their hate.

Is it that you don't read, or you do not understand...I think the Bears are a very taleneted team...but they need a QB not a game manager...that is why I said "DESPITE" Kyle Orton they should have won 12 games...now I never said anything about out defense, except that they got gashed for 458 yards in the Super Bowl in another post...Now what I said about defense is that, most teams do not have to play the whole field against Orton, since he is not a threat with any deep passes...Look this up, in the 2008-2009 season the Chicago Bears are the only team in the NFL, where the QB did not complete a pass that traveled 35 yards in the air, when every other team had a minimum of five...you need to learn the game, and understand what you read, before you jump on somebody you pea brain idiot, so when you are directing idiots, you need to get out of your own way idiot.

Da Church of Da Coach,

A funny thing happened to you in your post...the facts got in the way...you stay in the church, and let people with footbal minds discuss football, you must be a Packer fan

Dear deucebg22,

Did you look at his rookie season or his college career? Orton has a deep ball which missed. He was overthrowing hsi receivers and then underthrowing. His mechanics are off but workable.

You know what else could be a problem? The WR corp. It's amazes me that Chicago has been a terrible offense for years yet mouthbreathing morons like yourself blame Orton.

As for "winning 5-9 games" every year ... ya may wabt to do some more of that crack research and see what his winning percentage is as a starting QB. Then again that would take away from regurgitating ESPN stats so I am probably asking too much.

I forgot Chicago had 3 pro-bowl wide receivers last season and an all-world offensive line. Damn that Orton!

That word you keep using (facts) ... I don't think it means what you think it means.

Da Church of Da Coach,
You must like arguing with yourself, you have yet to refute any of the facts that I given you, and then you answered my question for me...Orton sucks, his accuracy, and arm stregnth are well below par for a NFL QB...that is why any defense that plays the Bears while Orton is QB will pack eight in the box, and not worry about him beating them deep...now Rex Grossman has a better winning percentage in college and the pros, not to mention the Heisman trophy that the stole from him after his sophmore season and was given to Eric Crouch...but that is another story...Kyle Orton had a better line last season than Rex Grossman has ever had in Chicago...and for your information, Chicago has not had a skilled player go to the Pro Bowl in many many years, so crying about who plays WR does not change the facts. When you handicap yourself with a QB who can not make all the throws, you are in other words beating yourself, and that is what the Bears haven done...Kyle Orton reminds me of Bernie Kosar, and when they figured out he could not fire the ball, they placed eight in the box every play and made him useless...that is why I think we will win 5 to 9 games...because when you play with a game manager, you are telling the world the your QB has no skills. Lovie Smith & Jerry Angelo are stuck on stupid and do not know how to develop young talent. They have the belief that they have a monster defense, that the offense job is not to loose the game...that might work against Detroit, but not against anybody else...Now I put this question to you what playoff cailber team has Kyle Orton beaten...your silence is deafening...you have the same problem that Bear managment has, and that is that Rex Grossman lost the Super Bowl...and that is far from true, when you give up 458 yards, you never win...THe Chicago Bears have a very talented team, and I hope they they go 16-0 with who ever is at QB, but I do not think that will happen, since most coaches know that they only have to play a portion of the field on defense against the Bears...if you don't understand, I will explain it to you...It is like telling them what play you call, and then not understanding why you did not get any yards on that play...this the the NFL, they take advantage of every liability you have, and when the liability is at QB, you have a problem.

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