Chicago Sun-Times

St. Clair bolts for Browns

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John St. Clair has signed three-year contract with the Cleveland Browns worth a total of $9 million.

The deal contains $600,000$1.25 million guaranteed, which is believed to be less than the Bears had offered in a $4.5 million, three-year contract. St. Clair, however, will earn $2.85 million in the first year of the deal, and that represents 63 percent of the total value of the Bears' offer.

Now, the Bears will have to venture out into the market and find a right tackle or draft one high in the draft or both.

Undrafted college free agent Cody Balogh played right tackle in minicamp Tuesday.

Kevin Shaffer, Marvel Smith and Orlando Pace are just a few options on the market the Bears could consider.

The St. Clair deal on the surface appears to be a series of one-year contracts.

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38 Comments

WHAT are they doing??????

now it's definite. the bears offensive line next year will have 3 new starters on it, with at least two of them (omiyale & c williams) having a combined 1 career nfl start.

this organization is such a joke. not saying i'm pining over the loss of st. clair, but the unbelievable lack of planning and vision with the offense and offensive line in particular has completely come to light this off-season...even though objective fans have seen it coming for years.

jerry! jerry! jerry!

The McJokeskeys really should sell the team, they can't get in a bidding war over anyone...they just don't have the money!!!

let me get this straight he signed for less then the bears offered? sheesh maybe he dont like us anymore lol

Not too disappointing on the surface. St Clair is old and below average at every position. Signing him might've prevented the Bears from seeking a more long-term solution at RT.

On the other hand, it's troubling that the Bears got out-bid on a relatively low-risk, low-cost deal on someone they considered a priority. How can we possibly think the Bears will go after someone like Holt, Cutler, Boldin, Pace, etc, if they won't pay "one of their own" who they consider a priority?

I didn't want St Clair back, but Lovie and Jerry did, and they couldn't sign him. That worries me.

Fans can't complain that the Bears were the cheap ones with this deal. From reading, it looks like the Bears offered St. Claire more guaranteed money. Why not sign one of the remaining O-Tackles to a one or two year contract and use the 18th pick on an OLman. The Ominyale signing looks better and better.

Not a big deal, folks. Read the article carefully - St. Clair got 63% of the TOTAL Bears 3year offer in guaranteed money - a better deal for him, obviously. But JA and Lovie clearly didn't see that much value in St. Clair over other FA options out there, despite the lip service they paid, and didn't see the point of overpaying him. I can't disagree with letting him go.

Kevin Shaffer will end up signing here soon in what is essentially a swap of tackles.

What a bunch of crybabies. This team has needed to overhaul the line in favor for a youth movement for the past 2 years and is FINALLY doing it. I say congrats to JA on getting it started. I don't agree with the fact that he's neglected the line, but it seems as if he's now doing something about it. If we pick up a STUD RT in the draft or sign a young free agent, this move is fantastic. In essence, we agreed not to pay a BACKUP tackle 3 million a year. Suck it up boys...

What a bunch of crybabies. This team has needed to overhaul the line in favor of a youth movement for the past 2 years and is FINALLY doing it. I say congrats to JA on getting it started. I don't agree with the fact that he's neglected the line, but it seems as if he's now doing something about it. If we pick up a STUD RT in the draft or sign a young free agent, this move is fantastic. In essence, we agreed not to pay a BACKUP tackle 3 million a year. Suck it up boys...

St.Clair was horrible...Harrison is gonna set the single game sack record against him! hope Suggs kicks him when he's down as well, The guy is a decent back-up, but will never be a good starter. good riddance.

Ok, so they'll probably have 3 new starters on the line next season, now what do you think will happen to our qb, besides multiple concussions? Orton doesn't scramble very well, from what I've read neither does Cutler. I'm thinking more and more that a guy that can move, Pat White I'm looking at you, would make a lot of sense for this team to draft...

BTW, how does Angelo still have his job? You can't hold onto a marginal lineman? You lose him to the Browns?!? I'm not convinced this isn't going to be addition by subtraction, but I have to agree with Tom that it makes the organization look bad. I'd say inept.

St Clair was a stop gap that stayed around to long. Yes a swing tackle is always good to have in reserve, but we can get a descent back-up(which St. Clair is) outta the remaining FA pool @ less than 3mil/year. Draft a tackle in the 2nd round, which wouldn't be a stretch, rather a good value for a Right Tackle. WR first then OT. Our scouts already went to see Loadholt, so that's a little foresight for ya whiney little bastards. Anyways, the line has done better than expected the last 3 years thanks to great O-Line coaching not top tier talent. Also with upgrades to both tackle positions and LG we should see a much improved line this year. Now we need a big possession receiver and the D-Line to return to form. Stop the freakin crying this is Chicago not SF, Bear Down damn it!!!!

Hey, I though we were supposed to contend for a championship year-after-year with Angelo and Lovie at the helm?

At least that's what everyone told me when I criticized those two half-wits for blowing our only chance at a championship by playing Grossman.

Now I am being told we have to rebuild most of our offensive line.

Where is the consistent excellence?
Where is the shrewd drafting?
Where is the ability to develop players?
Where is the in-game coaching adjustments?

I knew these two were a joke from the start. One lucky year in 2006 and nothing since.......

ST.Clair was a good player, that could play multiple positions, exactly the kind of player that the Bears are always looking for, and when they get the player they have been looking for, they let them go, example; always looking for a speed receiver to stretch the defense, solution; Bernard Berrian, where is Bernard now, he`s somewhere else relishing the fact that he will get to feast on our pathetic secondary two times every season. It`s also another reason to believe that the Bears are definitely rebuilding, and going with younger players, which is fine, but don`t expect a winning season this year, and only if Orton is our future QB, will we maybe get back to the playoffs next year in 2010, if he`s not our future QB, ......!

Somewhere Jared Allen weeps.

The bears predicate themselves on 2 things:
1) Being built from the trenches up
2) Getting off of the bus running
Depth and cohesion on the offensive line are integral to this and it starts with the tackles. I’m not going to lose sleep over the loss of St. Clair. He is a versatile spot starter but not a long term solution at either tackle position. The Bears should have been in play for a young (under 32) year old tackle as soon as Tait’s retirement became imminent. The success of ANY quarterback, wide receiver, or running back starts with solid protection on the line. For a team “built in the trenches” that “gets off the bus running” to go into training camp with only two unproven tackles on the roster is a tremendous gaff.

St.Clair played no better than he played on his past teams.The fact is we didnt open many whole for the run and didnt protect the QB to well last year.We need change!!.Yea i know you guys want a vet for each position, but the fact is vets werent proven before they became vets, so that means every player has to be given a chance to start.

The Bears held their first mini camp today and im excited already.I live in Philly so am also happen the Bears play the Eagles again for the 3nd straight year.I CANT WAIT TO COLLECT BETS AGAIN THIS YEAR TOO.

To Jon F.... You aint kidding. I brought it up before regarding the glaring holes and depth at the OT spots. Unless we get lucky with a June 1 cut from another team, they will be forced to draft and start very young players at the OT spot. Not to mention that we still have a giant unknown with Chris Williams at the LT spot. Orton better strap the helmet on tight. Might be a long season of running for his life. Get used to 3rd and 18. Probably gonna see that alot... Its a joke that a veteran GM and Coach could go to mini-camp with so many critical spots to fill and have done nothing to fill them. Rookie WR's rarely come in and do well the first year. O-Line, you might get lucky with a first year starter. FS??? That a big gamble. (See Danieal Manning) Not to mention that the pass rush has gone out the window. That still needs to be fixed. We dont have many draft picks this year. Some positions could use multiple picks. OL and WR.. Im sure the ever knowing GM will get it right. What do the senior staff of the Bears do? Does anyone evaluate JA? How can the McCaskeys allow the boat to just drift like this? There really seems to be no direction at this point. Lovie fires Rivera and hires his best pal.. D goes in the toilet. Best pal still has the D-Coord. title, but lovie now calls the plays? Team allows starters to leave and does not fill their spots.. Muhammad and Berrian replaced with Hester and Rashied Davis??? Hester should come along, but to rely on him off the bat to be a #1 was insane. And Davis never should have been starting to begin with. The boat is adrift.... The pack and vikes are reloading quickly.. we are?????? ummmmm???? well??? Someone help me finish this......

This is a bigger hit than it appears on the surface. St. Claire was an "average" player but he has two very important features. 1)He can play both tackle positions, 2) He knows the Bears system. There was no learning curve with him. Considering the Bears have a rookie left tackle with a questionable back and no one to play the other tackle position, St. Claire was a very valuable player for the Bears. Even with a high draft pick used on a tackle, it's looking like the Bears will have two rookie tackles protecting Kyle Orton. Not a good situation.

Just think how much better a position the Bears would be in if Angelo had used his 2nd and 3rd picks on a tackle and guard instead of Dan Bazuin and Mike Okwo. THe O-line would be in great excellent shape.

What if Angelo has extended Bernard Barrian's contract the year BEFORE his free agency year instead of pouring money into Nathan Vasher who probably won't make the team this year? A tandem of Barrian and Hester and two good tight ends would be a very formitable passing game.

How does Angelo keep his job?????

St. Clair is getting $3M/yr for 3 years. That's far too much for a marginal tackle. His real value is as a swing backup OT, which is what he was originally with the Bears. He can play either side. As a starter, he is too weak at pass blocking, and can't run-block well either.

The neglect of the OT position for the last few years is coming home to roost, but I'm not unhappy to see St. Clair go. The guy was a turnstile against speed rushers. He rarely got a good run block. What is the downside exactly? The new guy gives up sacks and can't run block? Hey, I think I know what that looks like.

One thing is for sure: the team HAS to select a OT on the first day. The good news is you can get a mauler type for the ORT spot instead of the more-difficult-to-find OLT spot. We need a veteran as a backup or a starter initially as well.

So Brad what was that you said about St. Clair signing at the end of next week with the Bears? I hate to say I told you but, I TOLD YOU SO!!. HAHAHAHAH, well know the Bears have absolutly no depth at OT, what am I saying they have 1 starter who has never started, ok so they have no depth and half the required amount of starters at the position and 0 experience in the NFL. Classic, I am gonna have a blast this year, man am I gonna be laying the hammer down. I gotta start writing material now, once the season starts I wont be able to keep up.

Now if Cutler goes to Detroit, Peppers gets traded for a second rounder, and the Bears sign a guy worse than St. Clair and bring back Miller again. My god how many I told you's am gonna have to write? Oh god what if they start brining in ex Lions and and former Tampa players?

Oh I get the feeling it will be a banner year for Angelo hammering.

Bear down Tampa Bears
LALALALALALALALALA

Bryan,
You sure do use the word IF alot to be ending your comment with `suck it up boys', I would think you would have a more definitive answer before belittling other bloggers.
I guess my question then would be, what IF they don't sign a young RT Free Agent? What IF they don't draft a young `stud' or one that doesn't play for a year? Are you going to `suck it up' Brian?

Alot of bloggers use the word IF to make their point seem valid, how valid is a point made when you guys use a speculation and call it truth?
At least give other bloggers credit as they are using the facts in their posts not half truths and then belittling the Posters that are using facts. what a crock! loll

Now I don't think that much of St. Clair, but he didn't do that bad last year (carreer backup but a starter for the Bears whats up with that already?) BUT read Killer Kane's comment he makes alot of sense. St. Clair is valuable (see Browns) as a swing backup that knows our system. Yes this leaves the door open for a RT to come in, but I have not seen that yet, so speculate all you want, oh yeah and don't forget what IF Boldin Cutler, come here?? Better call the posters crybabies cause those 2 MIGHT,IF, MAYBE come to the Bears...lolol

and MrPhatAz
uh no it's not SF, We have had no Rice or Montana, or Steve Young, or all those Super Bowls.....

actually this from wik...
`The 49ers teams of the 1980s and early 1990s were a great dynasty given their five Super Bowl triumphs in that span, including four in the 1980s. Particularly exalted are the 1984 and 1989 teams. Three-time Super Bowl MVP Joe Montana, perennial Pro Bowler Ronnie Lott, all-time highest career quarterback rating holder Steve Young, and career touchdown leader Jerry Rice played for the 49ers during this period. Additionally, some of the most memorable plays (including "The Catch") and games (such as Super Bowl XXIII) were played by this team. The name "49ers" refers to the prospectors who arrived in Northern California in the California Gold Rush mostly in the 19th century.'

RETURN TO FORM? IS THAT THE FORM OF LAST YEAR? OR THE YEAR BEFORE?

uh no we are not the 49ers...lolol We are the Bear downers! btw didn't a McCaskey come up with that song??? If this is Bearing Down, I believe I'll skip that part....and just watch the game. cause this Free Agency stuff is a waste of Bear Downers time.

Now the Bears MUST address a WO through free agency. If we enter the draft with any more glaring needs we can't find a bandage big enough to cover them all. But, if we sign a Torry Holt we can reach for a WO in the 3rd or later and make tackle a priority. OR if we sign Pace as a 1-2 year stop gap, then we can make WO a priority in round 1 and draft a tackle in 3rd or later. However, if we sit and do nothing, as we have all along.....

The Bears will be fine. They will draft a good OT in the 1st or 2nd round and that guy will play a long time on the line with last years 1st round pick at left tackle. They are going to open a lot more holes than last year. I believe this will be the start of building a pretty good line for years to come. St. Clair would have been nice to keep around as a swing tackle, but losing him is not the end of the world. We can sign depth in FA still or draft some in the later rounds. So, stop jumping off the rooftops. The sky is not falling. To the people saying that the Bears are only looking at interior line help in the draft, do you really think they're going to tip their hands bad enough that a bunch of arm chair GMs can guess what they are actually going to do. Seriously. I also wouldn't be surprised if they find a decent starter at RT in FA. It's not like they haven't had success doing that before.

St Clair....GOOD RIDDANCE!!

Good grief. All this fuss over a backup tackle that, after a month of free agency, finally got an offer to play for peanuts from one team.

Hopefully the draft comes before y'all start in on the waterboy.

Any body else here think it's humorous that the Bears official site, that is profoundly denial-filled doesn't have the article of StClair? And please don't give me that crap of "well many other reporters have already posted the report up so we saw no need to over do it with our site." I feel when I read that site I have the FOX News experience with the republicans where they cannot do anything wrong and everything that happens is to their advantage and the refuse to see the real issues. God help us fans.

C'mon guys let's not go crazy and jump off the Sears... I mean Willis Tower. Change can be good.

I love all the Bears homers (as opposed to objective FANS)saying "Now the Bears can just go out and draft ...."

LOL! How'd Jerry's last big pick on the O-line go again?

But THIS time ... he'll strike GOLD right?

Because he has a history of doing so on the offensive side of the ball! Right?

Any yeah "that Ominyale signing is looking better and better" all right! That guy with all of what .. TWO? ... starts is gonna just LIGHT IT UP man! He's gonna undo years and years of Angelo screwups and make the Bears look like geniuses! He's gonna take the team to the Super Bowl all by himself!

Ummm ... right?

You guys crack me up.

Thanks for the comic relief!

What's with Kevin Shaffer? Although he played for the Browns, I rarely heard of him as a weakness on the line. Shouldn't he be on The Bears FA list?

A lot of hits on this St.clair signing mostly disappointment in the BEARS, but I'm not so sure it is a mistake, we were going to draft o-line anyway and to give St.Clair starter's money over a 3 year deal would force us to keep him out there and play him versus bringing in someone to play the position and put them on the field. O-line is a postion that can be aided by coaching and playcalling. Hiestand showed himself to be a solid coach last season with the play he got from Beekman and what he coaked out of St.clair, go get him who he wants and let him go to work. BEAR fans we are getting the younger o-line we all have said we needed all season, just not the way we wanted it. a right tackle is easire to find than a left tackle and Williams is now on the spot for sure, but the draft is deep in o-line man for the tackle spot we should do well, plus we have no idea what Balough can do he was a starter for four years at Montana, another pretty good Free agent tackle came out of there...you might have heard of him...Scott Gragg, big long, mean, only a few holding calls per year.....LOL....keep the faith fellows and start combing the list of eligible tackles, because we are drafting one if not two....We have an outside shot at getting Pace, and again that deal will be about the money how much does he want vs what the Macaskey's will spend

If it doesn't tell you anything else, our 3-step drop offense (which, not coincidentally, hurt Orton's performance in the second half of the year) was a direct result of Tait and St. Clair not being able to even slow down DEs around the edge. If it wasn't for the fact that we don't have an experienced tackle on the roster, I would not be concerned at all with St. Clair going to Cleveland. He was marginal at best, abysmal at worst. If we would have put him on the right side, he would have gotten us killed by every defensive end in the league.

This does of course put a much higher priority on getting an OT in round 1, as we will need someone with the skills to step in on day 1 and start. That means Britton, or a trade back and a reach for Loadholt at the bottom end of round 1. Since they were trying to re-sign St. Clair, I would assume they will find a stopgap, but I would agree with Creighton that Miller will be the guy they bring in as insurance for the rookie they are going to draft.

Randy,

My point was that we've got a bunch of negative crybabies on this site saying that JA should lose his job, Lovie should lose his job, ownership sucks, our players suck, blah blah blah... We're talking about an aging BACKUP tackle who Cleveland decided to pay 3 million/yr. I'm just merely pointing out that all of the negative bloggers on the site want to commit Harry Carey any time we lose a player or lose out on a player that the FANS decided we need. I used the word if, but IF you'd like, I'll use the word WHEN. WHEN we sign a FA tackle and WHEN we draft a tackle or two, we'll be FINE. Chill out and BEAR DOWN!

Hmmm ... guess there was a reason a few of us were pissed when Chicago cut Kirk Barton last year.

For better or worse, the left side of the o-line is completely revamped. Omalaye provides a dual role as LT backup and LG. Beekman will be LG\C backup.

I expect Chicago to address the RT position early in the draft as well as WR ... which means JA will probably grab a SS and and two DEs.

I agree with you Bryan on the fact that JA and Lovie should not be hated on to the extent of losing their jobs etc...They took us to the Super Bowl except I did not appreciate the calling out of names though as everyone has a valid point at this time. and their really does seem to be alot of opinions on St. Clair - who we really all didn't like that much as a left tackle, but we are going into camp w/o a RT and I am not sure we will sign a FA RT though, and I did like St. Clair swing status, and at RT maybe or backup which we need as well?
Everyone (me included) are really down on Jerry for not addressing the Oline earlier (like 2 years ago) and we would not all be arguing right now, he let our Oline down and it has come back to bite him.

oh and Ish, CNN does the same thing with the Democrats cmon now, be objective, I agree on FOX but they all have their own channel, as the Wash. Post and NY Times are Dem. owned and always bashing Reps. He who controls the media controls the people.

and chitown you make a good point as well, we got what we wanted just not how we wanted it.

This def. shaping up to be one of the most exciting years for Bears Football as we really have no idea what to expect from this team, even the optimistic fans are saying if alot. as we just do not know who will step up, or who will get drafted (as they might play alot) will Rod upgrade the Dline to previous (3 years ago!) status?
Will the Oline be any good at all?? Will Hester/Orton get it together after a year practice? Will Forte have a Soph jinx or be the man?
We could be very good or very bad or the same. Alot of fans on both sides of the half full/half empty cup, but more fans seem to be upset with Jerry for not diving into the FA pool harder than last year. It seems more fans are upset this year (and they have a right to be after the team played unmotivated last year) - I would be happy with a Team that is motivated this year, (and makes the playoffs)
Patience heck, Just Kill the Packers! (twice)

St Clair is the worst Lineman in the NFL. Period. I actually feel better as a human being now that he is gone...

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 17, 2009 4:31 PM.

St. Clair receivers offer from Browns, negotiations underway was the previous entry in this blog.

Minicamp notes: Smith to coach nickel position is the next entry in this blog.

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