The Bears' first minicamp practice begins in less than 30 minutes and the team could have an answer soon for the gaping hole they will have at right tackle.
Negotiations for veteran offensive tackle John St. Clair are believed to be taking place. St. Clair remains in Cleveland where he arrived Monday for a free-agent visit with the Browns. A source close to the situation said that Cleveland has offered St. Clair a contract. We have no idea what kind of money he is looking at in Cleveland. Whether or not he is leaning one way or another is also unknown, but at this point a resolution is expected in the near future.
The Bears made St. Clair, who started 16 games for them at left tackle last season, a $4.5 million, three-year contract offer on Feb. 13. St. Clair's side made a counter proposal and that is where the issue remained until he traveled to Cleveland. St. Clair met with coach Eric Mangini and general manager George Kokinis and was given a physical. It's an odd match for the Browns from the standpoint that they just signed Pork Chop Womack and Ryan Tucker, the brother of ex-Bear Rex Tucker, is expected to get the first crack at right tackle in Cleveland.
St. Clair seemingly had a starting job waiting for him here without another legitimate right tackle candidate on the roster. The Bears probably didn't move off of their contract offer from five weeks ago because they were not going to start negotiating against themselves. We'll see where this thing heads now.