Chicago Sun-Times

Examining if Holt is a square peg for a square hole

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The collection of displaced football professionals continues to grow.

Torry Holt wants to join the group. Soon.

The veteran St. Louis Rams wide receiver reportedly has asked to be released. The Rams owe Holt a $1.25 million roster bonus on March 17 and are believed to be looking to cut their salary cap and get younger by moving on. The problem is with Holt's contract they have not had any success finding a taker. Why trade for a guy when he's going to reach the open market where you can write your own contract?

That brings us to the possibility Holt would be a fit for the Bears. Before we go forward, we're going to estimate the chances of this marriage happening are slim. Real slim. But we'll make our case later. Holt, who turns 33 in June, led the Rams in receiving last season even as they worked to phase him out and promote exciting rookie Donnie Avery. Holt finished with 796 yards on 64 catches with three touchdowns. It snapped a streak of eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for him. To put that in perspective for a second, the Bears have had 10 1,000-yard receivers in their entire history.

Back to Holt, he wants out and one guy who helped him rack up a whole bunch of his 12,660 career yards figures he's got something left.

"Believe me, [he's a] great locker room guy, great leader,'' said quarterback Kurt Warner Thursday morning when he visited with Waddle & Silvy on ESPN-1000 AM. "I believe he still has some left in the tank, if you look at it he still led St. Louis in receiving last year. Even though to a degree he was phased out, they were trying to work some of the younger guys in, and fill in the ball, he still led their team in receiving.

"So, I think there's still definitely something there that he can offer to a football team. I don't know the fit there. I don't know how their offense would be designed around him, but I do think he's got something to offer and will offer some good things to another team."

OK. There's our first tip. Warner himself wonders if the Bears would be a fit for Holt. We wonder that as well. The common error made by those rushing to play Chuck Woolery when it comes to free agency is there has to be a mutual desire on the part of the player and the team. Given his freedom from St. Louis, what would make Chicago an attractive destination for Holt with 30 other teams to look at? He could be hard-pressed to replicate his 2008 statistics in the Bears' offense.

Next, let's look at what general manager Jerry Angelo announced Wednesday on the team's Web site, a regular platform he's going to take to now to shape the message, apparently.

"Naturally, we're going to look at [wide receiver] real hard, in all likelihood in the draft,'' Angelo said. "We're not looking for backup wide receivers. What we want are potentially starting wide receivers. We have a nucleus of receivers that we feel good about in terms of twos, threes, fours and fives, and if we carried six, a sixth receiver. Part of that ties into special teams. What we're looking at is the top of the wide receiver position. Where does that come from? It comes with a premium receiver in free agency if there's one out there and/or in the draft. Yes, it's a position that we are looking at."

A case could be made, a strong one, that Holt is no longer a "premium" player. An upgrade over anything the Bears have had? No doubt. A match for the Bears? Maybe not.

*** Running back Kevin Jones is meeting with the Buffalo Bills today. There's a tie-in there worth remembering. Bills coach Dick Jauron was in Detroit when the Lions drafted Jones in the first round. Jauron was also the interim head coach in Detroit for a run there while Jones was a member of the Lions. The Bills have legally challenged Marshawn Lynch on the roster and Fred Jackson, who is an exclusive rights free agent and is making noise that he wants a substantial contract. Jackson, of course, is not in a position with leverage.

*** You can rule out Rex Grossman handing the ball off to Cedric Benson in the Queen City. Cincinnati signed two-time ex-Bear J.T. O'Sullivan to back up Carson Palmer. One source said Grossman could draw interest from Detroit.

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I would definately like to see Holt here. The other option is D-Bag T.O. and we all know that would spell disaster. If not then they will need to go with a WR and OT in the first 2 rounds which looks to be the case. Holt has lost a step but would help Hester with development and be a solid receiver for Orton. Just a thought.


there are other younger players the bears could sign

wOW, Jerry said that? Wonder who in the ....he would possibly have in mind, must be the draft bc all the premier WR are way too expensive and too smart to play for the Bears.
Holt? I like him bc he could teach Hester and Orton quite a bit, and be useful for a year, alot better than Booker, but no not the premier WR he once was.

actually if we got that safety in Free Agency and St. Clair, it would open up the 18th for a WR as JA already said he brought in Rod for the Defense so no D at 18???

Hold is described as better than any WR the Bears have on their roster. Which means, Angelo won't be interested in upgrading the talent level (lack thereof) at receiver. How much of an impact can JA expect from a rookie receiver?

TO and TH are not coming to Chicago unless they get a bunch of cash and there are no other takers.

Wide receiver talent will not entertain the Bears as long as Neckbeard is the quarterback.

Just keepin' it real. Wide-outs are like hair-band lead singers and none of 'em want to play for this generations Trent Dilfer.


What happened to the 6th round draft pick the Bears were to receive for Brian Griese? The draft order released by the NFL this week listed the Bears with only one 6th round pick and the Bears 7th round pick traded to TB (for G Dan Buenning I would guess)

Thank you, estevenj!!...I've been saying that all winter long!! NOBODY will come here as long as Orton is the starting QB!!! When will you all believe me???............ORTON SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!

I am just confused. What is the goal here for the Bears? They don't want to stunt the development of other recievers, they don't want to bring in an expensive vet, they don't want to give up draft picks for a number one guy. So how do we pick up enough guys to fill out the roster?
They tried last year to bring in re-treads without talent and they ended up taking snaps away from the developing Earl Bennett anyway, despite not making an impact. Is it not a good idea to pick up a wideout with experience?
What happens when the WRs next year are the developing Hester, untested Bennett, and a draft pick who has never lined up in the NFL? Who is the proven go to guy that makes the tough catch? What happens if none of them proves to be the reliable possession reciever that the Bears haven't had since the original go-round with Booker?
Money, developing younger players, only a temporary fix, age; pick any excuse you want...none of them make the Bears a better team.

Also, how about a constructive article on player who actually fit the Bears rather than shooting down every reader suggestion? Other than a short blurb on Sharper and Bullocks, where are the actual options to improve the dozens of holes that this paper points out?

Dave the Bears traded a sith not a seventh for Buenning.

After Angelo spent all that money last year and none of it really worked out, the owners may be telling him no chance.

I don't by for a second Angelo will go WR in round 1, it goes against everything he has ever done in the draft. He's is trying to find cheap stop gaps so he can take the best player available at a need. I also don't by that a GM who prefers to draft defense, is better at drafting defense, and who does not like drafting offense is going to bring in a line coach and say the defense is fixed. They have no FS, they have questions at CB, you could address and upgrade every position on the dline. Same can be said for the offensive line WR, and QB. You have a GM who specializes in drafting for the Tampa 2 defense, a head coach who is a defensive specialist, you brought in 3 new defensive coaches, a defense that is past it's prime, on a team made famous by defense. Yet people think it's all about the offense in the first 3 rounds. The defense is on it's last leg and Angelo is going to go offense??? I don't think so. He may look for a OT in the first three picks, but I am surehe will go defense early and often.

The bears will not sign talent, because of our owners. "we like to promote from within the organization" as JA once said. So T.O. Will not be here, thank god. But i am upset that we didnt make a charge at Coles or Nate washington. They are very solid Slot recievers. We need to get Holt because it will open up space for Forte if we have a Real threat at Wideout. I hope that the bears can go after a Safety in free agency. But Holt would be a great fit. And here is a trade that should have happened Orton, Hillenmyer, and a 3rd round Pick for Jay Cutler. That would be great for the bears cause it would be more attractive for big name free agents to come here with 18 out the door. Go Bears.

Nick, I like how you think.

Being smart in free agency is one thing. Letting grass grow under your feet is another. Even if the Bears do take a WR at #18, Torry Holt could really help this team for a year or two while the young players develop.

I'm not so sure about waiting until he hits the street either. Does anybody know what kind of contract he has now? Housh got about $8 mil/yr and Coles got about $7 mil/yr. If Holt's contract is anywhere around or under those numbers, it might be worth a late rounder to trade for him and keep his existing contract.


The Bears DID trade the 7th round pick to the Bucs last year for Buenning.

Yeah, I too think Mr. Angelo will go defense early and offend, however, I also believe that the D-line isn't that bad. Tommie Harris needs to get his head on straight and I think that will happen with Coach Marinelli. Second year DT Marcus Harrison should have a good year and Ogunleye/Brown probably surprises a lot of people with a good year. Ogunleye is in a contract year anyway. The only question I really have about the D-line is with Mark Anderson. Can Coach Marinelli get him back to his 12 sack rookie year?

I won't mind seeing a good pass rushing DE on the 1st day, but think FS is the biggest need on defense.

I also like what I see with Zack Bowman, but think he's going to have a career of injuries and not see the field to much.

we all know JA likes to promote from within his own organization, which is good but not always right. if you have a average year then why wouldnt you try to get other players? the same players didnt get it done the first time, what makes ya think theyll get it done this time? so FA is a big part of getting a good team together. you cant count on the draft, they might be great in college but crap in the pro's. so JA, get a clue about how to run a team and start getting some players in FA, if ya dont it'll be another sub par getting tired of watching all the other teams pass us by while the bears do NOTHING to get better.......disappointed bears fan.....again!!!

This is by far the worse off season I ever seen with the bears. Last years excuse not to go after any quality free agents was because were going to sign our own. What's the excuse this year? I see quite a few teams getting better and the bears going NOWHERE. This might be the 1st season I refuse to watch this is not a quality product. PLEASE bring back Bobby Douglas at least he could run!

Sheesh, it seems everyone, meaning the team and the professional writers, are down to just making excuses why the Bears can't or shouldn't sign any quality free agents. Too expensive, too old, wouldn't want to come here, wouldn't be a good fit, would retard the development of a younger player (that's the funniest one, as if the Bears have any really talented young players whose development we should worry about!), etc. Great attitude guys, guaranteed to get the team all the way to mediocrity!

Jay they traded a sixth for Buenning here is a link.

Angelo has tried to replace Brown twice in his career. Not sure why but he does keep trying. Anderson is not an every down DE so when he comes in teams have a good idea of how to deal with him, you can either run at him or force him to the inside, he is fast but not strong and does not have a lot of moves. Big Oline's just kill the Bears front 4. There DE's are the size of Big LB's and there DT's are not that good against the run if not for all the stacking this team would just be getting crushed. Harrison is a backup to Harris and will probably take some steps forward this year.

As for Bowman he was a solid first round talent, but his issues have always been his injuries, he has just never been able to stay healthy, he is a lot like Mark Bradley in that respect. He was a gamble to draft, tons of ability but couldn't take a hit from my 9 year old nephew. The guy is a walking stress fracture.

Larry Mayer said in a "chalk talk" that the Bears traded a 7th rounder for Buenning and that the Bears had one pick in each of the first 6th rounds. I was just going by that.

That was one of my questions regarding Anderson, if he could get stronger and develop his technique to become an every down DE. But still, Anderson I think will prove to have been a nice value pick in the 5th round.

The D-line was pushed around real bad last year, but I still think Coach Marinelli will get it fixed.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 5, 2009 12:40 PM.

Radio host says Angelo, Bears have faced budget restraints was the previous entry in this blog.

Four Down Territory, March 5: Some popcorn for your T.O. show? is the next entry in this blog.

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