Chicago Sun-Times

Shaffer anxious to get in mix for starting right tackle job

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The Bears might have just bought more than a starting-caliber right tackle, they might have purchased some flexibility come the draft, which is one month from today.

Kevin Shaffer agreed to terms on an $8 million, three-year contract Wednesday that initially gives the Bears some badly needed depth on the offensive line, as well as some experience. Shaffer has traded places with John St. Clair, who signed with the Cleveland Browns last week within days of Shaffer's release by the new George Kokinis/Eric Mangini regime.

Shaffer, 29, has missed only two starts over the course of the last five seasons and at the minimum will be a swing tackle. He's expected to compete immediately for a starting job and that could allow the coaching staff to make Frank Omiyale's stay at right tackle a short one after the free-agent pickup was moved from left guard after one day of minicamp last week.

"It feels great and I am glad we were able to work something out,'' Shaffer said. "It's something we were talking about for a while and I am definitely excited. The goal is to come in and win a starting job. We haven't talked too much about that, or at length or anything, but when I get there I want to show them what I can do. I have always been a hard worker and I am in a situation where I am going to prove myself.''

Shaffer will fly in from Cleveland on Thursday and will take a physical before signing the contract. He will receive a $1.75 million signing bonus and will earn $2.75 million in the first year of the contract. The Browns had tried to keep him but they wanted him to reduce his salary first. The sides talked about it for four days before Shaffer instructed his agent Alan Herman that he wanted out. Herman contacted general manager Jerry Angelo immediately, and the agent hammered out a deal with contract negotiator Cliff Stein Tuesday and today.

Shaffer's addition doesn't mean the Bears will not target an offensive tackle in the first round. They worked out Arizona's Eben Britton today. But with him on board it makes it possible for Angelo to wait until the second round to add a young tackle, and perhaps even Round 3. But the belief is it will still be a top priority.

Before getting into negotiations, Shaffer did his homework on the team with Roberto Garza, who he played alongside in Atlanta.

"When we were together we had a competitive nature in the weight room and on the field,'' Shaffer said. "We were good friends and everything he said has been all positive.''

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I like the signing, if only for depth, but sometimes a change of scenery can be good for a player. It does give us more options come draft day.
I am willing to give the guy a chance.

BUT this draft better good with smart HEALTHY choices.

This could turn out to be a very good signing. Last year he didnt play well but has a good track record before that. He got a big contract and a few years ago and him making big money without big results cause him to lose his job. Now he has to prove himself again and could be better than average.

The Browns thought St. Clair was better. That right there says all I need to know about Shaffer. I will not hold my breath for Britton but I still hope we get him. Glad to seee the Bears worked him out at least there looking. Shaffer may just be depth, 8 million is not a lot. But Britt who the Bears are also brining in just ran the 4.4 40 at 6'3' 210, I don't think he falls to the 2nd round after that. It may come down to who they like more Britton and Nicks 1-2 or Britt and Shaffer and whoever they take in round 2.

Maybe Angelo likes Britt and Britton cause it's easy for him to remember there names. The shorter name for the shorter guy. Big guy bigger name. He is Britt but a ton heavier.

By the way I am already starting my official Shaffer sucks statments. Deal with it people. Shaffer Sucks.

Believe this is probably the best option available right now. Gives an immediate starter at the best, and some depth at the worst depending on his performance in camp.

Will free up the "draft best player available" scenario.

Keeping fingers crossed.


You have got to be kidding!!! THIS signing means putting off the chance to land a caliber OT??? If JA is doing his shopping at the Dollar Store..Jake Plummer is in the "Clearance" bin,and Charles Rogers is on the soon to be released list!

Interesting note on Shaffer and Omiyale, both were drafted by the Falcons. This is so typical of Angelo. He is trying to use another team to do his scouting sense he cant do it himself. Do any of you know who the Falcons GM is? Rich McKay who is the former GM of the Bucs 93-03, you know the guy that hired Dungy and Angelos former boss and the draft genius that turned the Bucs around. He has been with the Falcons sense 2003. He was originally there President and GM but hired Thomas Dimitroff as the new GM in 08. He is also the guy that let Angelo go from the Bucs. Angelo is still trying to milk him. Hahahahha thats Brando pathetic.

Well, we weren't going to go into camp with Williams and a rookie as our OT choices. If nothing else, it gives us a some vet depth. As long as he's not the Jared Allen turnstile that St. Clair was. Creighton - I like how you think. I've been preaching Britt and Britton for some time. The tape on Britt says it all - he's got speed to burn, the height, he catches with his hands not his body and he's an above average blocker to boot. Forget that bad locker room label and pull the trigger, JA. Move down a bit in Rd1 if you have to get him where he's slotted but not too far - nowhere past #25 to be sure.

Just remembered Garza was from Atlanta too. 3 linemen from Atlanta and nobody noticed. Who was the GM before McKay? He was suppose to be good at judging Oline talent but started loosing it at the end of his career. He also scouted Omiyale for them as a consultant. It was the guy who drafted Vick. Ooops.

If all three start this year that means the Bears Oline will be made up of mostly Falcons cast offs. Nice.

Brad how did you not notice this?

a 4 yr starter who has played well his entire career is a scrap heap signing...i mean the guys not the next anthony munoz but he's not bad fred miller either...

the browns have no idea what they are doing out using the fact that they tossed him aside is silly...

they signed st clair...they have rex tucker there at RT and they were trying to resign shaffer as well

they traded away a top 5 te...they almost traded braylon edwards...they still havent decided on a QB yet...even though you know what you are gtting with DA...they want to bring in their own doesnt mean the people they getting rid of are bad...they just want their own players...see denver if you want a prime example of how far coaches and gms will go to fill the team with player that fit their scheme no matter how good they are

Anybody who thinks this wasn't a good signing needs to do a some homework. Last year St. Clair allowed 9.5 sacks (3rd worst in the league), Tait allowed 6.0 (nothing against him) while Shaffer allowed 4.5 for a weak Browns team. This signing bolstered the line, it did not weaken it.

They have Ryan Tucker not REX, Rex is a LION.
He was signed in Cleveland to be a LT, and was considered an overpaid RT when Thomas was Drafted. They want their own Fat RT.

Was a LION

Semantics...rex or ryan it doesnt matter they still seem to be making moves just for the hell of it

what they are doing in Clev. has nothing to do with what kind of player Shaffer is

They Browns had to let him go for a reason it's not like he cost much or anyone was calling him. My first thought is that there is something wrong with him. Like he might be an injury waiting to happen.

Still this is his 3rd or 4th team so my guess is he can't be that good if all these teams keep taking a pass on him. Maybe he is a head case who knows.

This signing: I like it. I like it. I like it.

Gives the Bears a lot of flexibility going into the draft.

Shaffer is three years younger than St. Turnstile and cheaper as well, if I remember the St. Clair numbers correctly, even if they are in the same ballpark.

I really did not want St. Clair back and I think Shaffer will do well at RT if he ends up having to compete there, unless we get a highly rated OT in the draft.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 25, 2009 4:56 PM.

Bears add veteran offensive tackle Shaffer was the previous entry in this blog.

Kevin Shaffer Q&A on joining Bears is the next entry in this blog.

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