Q: I just saw the news on T.O., and I'm sure everyone's asking if he's a fit for the Bears. Let me guess, he's a locker room cancer, too much of a media side show, too costly, and too old to wear navy and orange, right? Personally, I think they should buy a popcorn maker for Halas Hall, because T.O. would be worth his weight in free agency dollars. It would instantly give the Bears a legitimate No. 1 option, plus, it takes away a major need come draft day. Jerry Angelo could focus on bolstering either line or get a top tier free safety. Perhaps a stop in Chicago could help bring T.O. back down to earth (attitude-wise, not numbers-wise). Am I dreaming?
Jared S., Chicago
A: Yes, Jared, you are dreaming.You can go ahead and put the Bears with the Eagles and Chiefs among the top three most unlikely destinations for Terrell Owens. As I've tried to stress in other posts, the player would have to want to join the Bears too. Does anyone picture Owens seeing Halas Hall as a good fit? OK, good.
He's 35 years old and when you get past all of the antics and B.S. that comes along with the circus, he's a guy who's skill set is slowly eroding. There's no question about it. Now, does he have the ability to take a short pass, shrug off a defender and go the distance? No doubt. But not in a Bears uniform. It's something I can't envision general manager Jerry Angelo ever considering. It's really not worth much more discussion. But you're dead on, we wouldn't be sitting back and watching that show with a bag of popcorn. We'd be viewing it next to the popcorn maker. You're also dead on about having some more flexibility if the Bears didn't have to go out searching for a top receiver.
Q: What happened to the sixth-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 sixth-round pick and the Bears' seventh-round pick traded to Tampa Bay.
A: That's an excellent observation there, Dave, and something we just looked into to get a clarification ourselves. The league released the tentative draft order, which is set through the first three rounds and will be adjusted later this month when compensatory draft picks are awarded at the owners meeting.
Currently, the Bears have only six draft picks but they are expected to add one or more based on the losses of undrafted free agents Bernard Berrian, Brendon Ayanbadejo and John Gilmore. The highest compensatory picks awarded are at the end of round three, and four of those were given out last year.
But on to the Bears' draft picks. Currently, they have the following selections:
4th round, 19th pick*
5th round, 18th pick*
6th round, 17th pick*
* selection number will be determined after compensatory picks are awarded.
We looked into the moves the Bears made with Tampa Bay and here is what we found out. According to a league source, when the Bears traded their seventh-round pick and Griese to the Bucs for their sixth-round pick last spring.
When the Bears picked up guard Dan Buenning at the start of the season, they traded the Bucs' sixth-round pick back to Tampa in exchange for Buenning. So the net exchange is Tampa received Griese and a seventh-round pick and the Bears acquired Buenning. Hope that clears it up for everyone as it shed some new light on the situation for us.
Q: Any word on Troy defensive back Sherrod Martin and whether or not he would be a fit for the Bears? Is he a cornerback or a safety? Thanks in advance.
Terry P., Birmingham, Ala.
A: Martin is an interesting guy who performed pretty well at the scouting combine. He ran a 4.52-second, 40-yard dash, which ranked fifth among safeties. That's not necessarily the position he will wind up playing, but he was at least grouped there. He was tops in the three-cone drill, tops in the 20-yard shuttle and second in the 60-yard shuttle, so his measurables were pretty good when you consider he's got a solid 6-1, 198-pound frame.
He comes from the program that's really started to get attention having produced Osi Umenyiora, DeMarcus Ware and most recently Leodis McKelvin. Martin worked at corner and safety at the Senior Bowl but had a bit of a rough transition playing outside there. He probably projects right now as a mid-round selection but it only takes one team to like a guy enough for him to move from the middle rounds straight up the board.
The concerns here are multiple. For starters, can he stay healthy? Martin has had surgery on both shoulders, a wrist and a hand. He redshirted in 2006 and because of that he'll be 25 during his rookie season. That's not a good thing. He also didn't face regular top competition. If you think he can stay healthy, he's an interesting player.
Q: If college scouting director Greg Gabriel was at Buffalo watching quarterback Drew Willey on Wednesday, where was he today?
Martin G., Chicago
A: Assuming Gabriel remained on the East Coast for another pro day today, the bet is he made his way to Syracuse for the pro day there. We're doubting he went to Albany State's pro day, also held Thursday, or went East just to see Buffalo.
At Syracuse, where the Bears were reported to have a representative, fullback Tony Fiammetta is probably the most interesting player. Many consider him the top fullback in the draft and he only generated more buzz for himself last month at the scouting combine. Fiammetta ran the 40 in about 4.6 seconds and at 245 pounds and with decent hands--he caught 28 passes the last two seasons--he's an intriguing mid-round prospect. But seeing as he worked out in Indianapolis, it's unlikely he did much more than positional drills on Thursday.
Now, Fiammetta wasn't all there was to see. Guard Ryan Durand, who went to the East-West Shrine Game, was a combine snub and he was there to work out for teams. He's got good size at 6-4, 307. Running back Curtis Brinkley was also on display. He had some durability issues in school but is intriguing to some teams.
Thanks for the participation and thanks as always for reading. Fire in your questions right here or by e-mail. We'll dive back into one more mailbag for this week again Friday.