We're going to be up front here on this one: No one has told us a thing about John Tait in the last week-plus and at no point has anyone hinted that Tait is planning anything other than retiring, as he told the team he was going to do in January.
But that was more than a month ago and until Tait files retirement papers, there's at least going to be a sliver of doubt out there that he is going to walk away from the final year of a contract that will pay him $4.8 million in 2009, not to mention a modest $50,000 workout bonus he could pick up this spring. Tait has never struck me as the kind of guy who is after the money. I doubt seriously cash would be motivation for him playing an 11th season at age 34. But maybe he's not ready to get football out of his system. Why else would would there be a delay in a little paperwork?
If Tait walked through the front doors of Halas Hall Monday morning, strolled past the Super Bowl XX trophy on display in the lobby and went upstairs to general manager Jerry Angelo's office and said he wanted to play this coming season, what would the Bears do? Considering they don't have a right tackle on the roster right now, they'd probably welcome him back. With open arms.
Newly signed lineman Frank Omiyale will be worked at guard first, Angelo said. The club has an offer out to John St. Clair but the Bears would probably be happy to plug Tait back in at the spot he manned last season. St. Clair is believed to be in negotiations with another team this weekend.
Who knows how this could go down? We're just speculating here because it's at least a little curious the book hasn't been closed on Tait yet. Fortunately, this retirement watch will not take on a Brett Favre-type existence, but until Tait really does retire the door is going to be open, even if it's just barely cracked.