Chicago Sun-Times

Tait retirement becomes official; Bears still seeking right tackle

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You can cross one name off the list of potential right tackles for the Bears this coming season.

John Tait has turned in his retirement papers as an NFL source said his name came across the waiver wire less than an hour ago. The Bears have placed him on the reserve/retired list.

Tait informed the Bears in January that he was seriously contemplating retirement. No move was official at the time. When the club asked him if he wanted an announcement to be made, he said no, proof that he was going to continue to think it over even if he was mostly sure what path he was going to choose. Now, it's over. Tait, a first-round draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1999, walks away from the game after 10 seasons.

Of course, turning in his paperwork doesn't mean a whole lot. Remember, Brett Favre's paperwork was once turned in and we know what that turned into for Green Bay and then the New York Jets.

Tait played the last five years with the Bears and made 73 starts for them since being signed in 2004. He had one year remaining on his contract and walks away from a base salary of $4.8 million and a workout bonus of $50,000. His departure clears $4.85 million in cap space for the Bears. The team could seek $500,000 from Tait, the pro-rated portion of the $3 million signing bonus he received in his contract, and it's unknown if that is in the plans. Based on his service, character and willingness to participate in local charities, that would seem unlikely.

The Bears are still seeking a veteran to come in at right tackle. The John St. Clair situation remains at a standstill with the team still offering him a contract proposed on Feb. 13. Marvel Smith, the former Pittsburgh Steeler remains an option, and on Thursday the Cleveland Browns released Kevin Shaffer, who started 15 games last season. He's another experienced possibility.

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11 Comments

Thanks for the Super Bowl run John!!! I remember being very excited when we signed you, one of Jerry's best moves.

It makes you wonder. Why would he give up all that money and just walk away? I got a feeling that he knows this team is worse then anybody will admit!

John:

The move to get you for the Bears was great. You were a quiet leader that was very much appreciated. Thank you for all of your dedication and hard work for the Bears.

All the best to you.

Hey Moses, you know what makes me wonder? How you could wonder why a guy who takes a professional beating for 10 years might want to walk away from "all that money." The comment says more about you than him. And if knowing a team was going to be worse than anyone will admit (I see conspiracies here) was a reason, I'm thinking he might have retire any number of years when the Chiefs and Bears sucked.

Get your head out of your ass, thank the guy for being a good player and teammate, and stop looking for stupid reasons why he would retire.

The game is a killer. Isn't that enough?

Tip my hat to ya Mr. Tait...hope we don't insult you and sign E-clair.

Bob if the Bears were considered a Super Bowl Contender there is probably a good chance Tait holds off a year. Lots of players would like to have a ring, if that same guy feels the team is not going to be very good again then he may consider retiring more than he would if they were contenders. Then again he may have retired becasue of medical issues. Either way he was a very good player and hope he can still walk 1o years from now.

Moses your point isn't invalid, maybe he did think that but we will never know. As for admiting this team is bad. I will be happy to admit it. They are bad, in fact the offense and defense suck.

Dave Toub for Head Coach. You heard it here first.

yeas, I would think he surely would have stayed if he thought a ring was close, but bc of the injuries he retired, too bad for all of us huh? The way the Bears played the last 2 years a ring is a longshot fo a couple years, and Mr. Tait had to realize that as well. But the injuries/game took it's toll as it was plain last year, he walked away just in time. Helmets off to a tough decision I'm sure. Makes you stop and think, Rueben and Tait - couple ProBowlers.

Thanks for all the memories, John! You were a true Bear, a warrior. Here's wishing you greatsuccess in your future endeavours.

Saying that Tait retired because he thinks the team will suck is a stretch. He is a true professional. He left because his body told him to. I too thought he was one of the best deals that JA ever did. As I said before, a stud RT is now the top priority at #18. Grab a solid RT (Britten) and you have the bookends for your line set. Add Buenning and Omiyale (maybe) and you will have a big nasty line to plow open holes for Forte. It all starts up front. QB/WR mean nothing without the guys up front setting the tone. Dont worry.. a sold WR will be there in round 2. I just want to see our O-Line run rough shod over the Vikings D-Line. How about week 1 in Minny?? Come on NFL.. give it to us..Time for a lil payback..

Hey bob k, bite me, you moron! Everyone else in this blog got what I meant. If the Bears were contenders, you know damn well he wouldn't retire. Have you ever played an organized sport before? You play your whole life to be a champion, if you are close, no matter how bad you're hurt, you stick it out for a chance for the ring! Now go sit back down on your fat ass and shut up!

1. John Tait retired because his ankle wouldn't heal. My brother saw it before the 2007 season and said it was very discolored and swollen.

2. I echo the "thanks" from the posters above. Tait was one of the best Bears during his time in Chicago.

3. This team currently does not have a right tackle, but it won't consider seven time Pro Bowler Orlando Pace?! Yes, he's a left tackle, but Chris Williams could compete with John St. Clair for right tackle or, better yet, Williams could play right tackle and St. Clair left guard, where the latter is much better suited. Oh wait, this is the Bears; can't do anything bold that might be successful.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 12, 2009 4:32 PM.

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