Chicago Sun-Times

Four Down Territory, April 15: Could the Bears make a move for Lance Moore?

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Let's get right to the action.

Q: I've been following various free agent trackers online and New Orleans wide receiver Lance Moore continues to appear as a restricted free agent. Last year, on a team with multiple weapons, he caught 80 [79] passes and thus would seem to have proven value. One Web site said it probably would take a second-round pick to get him, which led me to think, "What team needs a wide receiver and seems about to spend a second-round pick on an unproven kid just out of college?" Have the Bears pursued Moore at all?

John B., Parts Unknown

A: Friday is the deadline for teams to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets, and it would take more than a second-round pick to land Moore. It would take a lot of money too. The Saints tendered him a $1.545 million contract and will receive a second-round pick as compensation if they decline to match an offer to him. Given Moore's value to the Saints, as you pointed out, it's fair to assume that they would strongly consider matching an offer.

Moore is an undersized guy at 5-9 who is unlikely to be a No. 1 wide receiver. He piled up big numbers, although he didn't get 1,000 yards, in the most pass-happy offense in the league. The Bears need to seek a No. 1 wide receiver because it's unlikely Devin Hester is ever going to truly fit that role. I don't see Moore being that guy either even if he'd be the best receiver on the roster right now. Bottom line, it's not as simple as forking over a second-round pick for Moore.

Q: What happened with the diuretics situation with the Williams Wall? By my count the fact that their appeal was in limbo for so long let them keep their defensive tackles playing in enough games to take them to the postseason, not to mention if they would have been suspended the Bears likely would have won against Minnesota late in the season (remember Minnesota's goalline stand that then turned into a 99-yard Bernard Berrian touchdown).I know that the decision was supposed to be pushed off until later but I don't remember hearing if it was ever resolved or not.

Raymond H., Parts Unknown

A: Kevin Williams will go to trail June 15 for his case, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He remains adamant that he and Pat Williams will be ready to roll when the season begins. One would think it will be solved well before it matters most to the Bears. They don't play the Vikings until Nov. 29. As for that goalline stand ... some better play calling would have punched the ball in from the one-yard line.

Q: Do all NFC North teams have to play the same opponents outside the division? How does Green Bay's, Minnesota's, and Detroit's schedules rank in difficulty with the Bears?

Bob Smith, Parts Unknown

A: No, the schedules are not identical. The division teams play each other twice and then share eight common opponents. This year, those eight common opponents are the teams from the AFC North and NFC West. Two games for each team are based on the standings from last season. The NFC North teams play the corresponding finisher in the NFC East and NFC South. That means the teams have the following games this season:

1st Minnesota--Carolina and New York Giants

2nd Bears--Atlanta and Philadelphia

3rd Green Bay--Dallas and Tampa Bay

4th Detroit--New Orleans and Washington

Q: What kind of money is the Bears' first pick going to cost them in the draft this year now that they are out of the first round? That is one of the beauties of the Jay Cutler trade not being discussed. The Bears will not waste millions on a pick in the first round that will not pan out.

Keith L., Peoria

A: The contract of Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson is the best gauge for what the Bears will have to pay the 49th overall selection. Jackson was in that slot last year and he received a $3.058 million, four-year contract. If the Bears could find that kind of wide receiver in that slot, he would be worth every penny.

Thanks for all of the participation and thanks as always for reading. We'll check in with another Q&A on Thursday.

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"As for that goalline stand ... some better play calling would have punched the ball in from the one-yard line."

No, a better, bigger interior offensive line would have. I wish people would stop blaming Ron Turner; he's had nothing to work with since he had Eric Kramer.

Good point, WFB. Offensive line was horrible last year. If this year's team doesn't make it to 11 wins you can bet OL is the culprit.

Olin is aging in dog years. Beekman is going to make a run at his job this year I believe.

I know he is a great guy and everything, but Garza has been horrible basically since he got here. Remember when Chris Harris, a safety, knocked him flying not once but twice last year? I digress.

Anyway, I am glad to see attention was paid in the offseason this year.

Finally someone who sees it. Garza has been pitiful and Kreutz is on the downside neither one gets any push and both are COMPLETELY dominated by the Williams wall. The O-Line needs to get more size and physical Kreutz has had a great run and Garza is a back up it's time to get real and move on. It's nearly impossible to sustain a run game if you don't have any push up front. Inorder to get off the bus running Kreutz and Garza shouldn't get off.

Brad correctly, IMHO, states what is becoming more obvious: Devin Hester will probably never be a number one WR. How sad is that? All that time and effort and we'll be lucky if the guy can ever learn to run a route. But that's what happens when you draft "athletes," guys will no real positions. I mean, he made a great impact on special teams for two years, but that's over.

If I'm the Bears, I never again spend a second round pick on a project. You can throw Manning in there too. A guy with all that raw ability but no football smarts. We spent a number two on a nickel back. If we're lucky. And a number two WR. If we're lucky.

Come on Angelo. You've got to do better than that this year. NO MORE PROJECTS!

Brad - If the league goes to an 18 game regular season, what are the odds they reinstitute the "rule of 5". ist would play 1st and 4th; 2nd would play 2nd and 3rd from the non-comon divsions (ie each team does not play all 4 - this year the West). If it were in place for this season, it would look like this:

1st Minnesota--Carolina, New York Giants,New Orleans and Washington

2nd Bears--Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas and Tampa Bay

3rd Green Bay--Dallas, Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Philadelphia

4th Detroit--Carolina, New York Giants,New Orleans and Washington

"Inorder to get off the bus running Kreutz and Garza shouldn't get off."

deputydawg, that was the funniest thing i have read in a while.

Bear Down!

Correct Wrigley - the line could not handle that. But the O Coach should have known that and made different play calls, as that was bad play calls. It was a manup thing, Olin probably??? told Ron we could beat them man to man - and we did not. No way No how. Ron has to know the capabilities of hi line before he makes calls like that.

I disagree I believe Hester will be a number 1, he has not had a deep ball QB like Cutler and he is still inexperienced, never say never, and who was the 2nd that kept him clean? right.....
Give him a Boldin and he will get seperated real fast. Rout running? fine, but he needs the ball asap and deep. Not short and slow.
Give him this year before you write him off alright?

Randy, I have no choice but to give him this year. You make route running sound like no big deal, just have Hester go long and chuck it up there. But that's just a one-trick pony and DBs usually figure that out. To get away with that, you have to have the hands and go-for-it that Larry Fitzgerald has. And let's face it, that guy came out of college with the skill set. It's what he is. It's what he does. That ain't Hester.

Give him a Bolden? Sure, give any team a Bolden and they get better. Fact is, I would trade ANYONE on the Bears, except Cutler and Forte, to get Bolden. And that includes Hester. Maybe the Cards could get one good year of returns out of him.

Number one? You must be dreaming. But I'll give you a pass. After all, these are the Bears, who really don't know what a WR is and didn't know what a QB was until JA suddenly awoke from a long slumber.

The Bears aren't going to get Moore. To do so they would have to pay him way over the Saints' gag reflex amount. If they were willing to do that they would still have Berrian and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

OK, maybe Hester is never going to be a prototypical No. 1 receiver. My question is: So what? There are a lot of good NFL teams that win without a true No. 1 receiver. Just for starters, the World Champion Pittsburg Steelers don't have one either. The Cards certainly DO have a good one. They have a good guy to get him the ball too. How did that turn out?

Classifying Hester as something other than a No. 1 doesn't take the question far enough. No. 1, "francise" receivers are as rare as true francise quarterbacks, and you almost need both to make a good receiver of any value. How did Moss do the last couple years with the Queens and in Oakland? Do you notice Andre Johnson tends to disappear?

Cutler to Hester will either cause defenses to commit their shutdown corner (if they have one), or to double team over the top. Olsen, Clark, and Forte are all difficult assignments for linebackers or a strong safety. If the Bears had another receiver who could just win an individual battle with the second best corner, especially in the red zone, they would have the tools necessary to be a successful passing offense.

With a top 10 pick in the draft, you have less than a 50% chance of coming up with a "francise" receiver. At pick no. 49 it would be "struck by lighting" odds. However they might get a decent #2 who could combo with Hester to be very effective.

MS: The Steelers have a great receiver in Hines Ward. For years he has been there go to guy. They also had Santonio Holmes who caught that great Super Bowl winning catch. They also had Nate Washington who is not that great but signed a pretty big contract this year in FA with a team that I can't remember at this point.

Hester may never be a number 1 guy, but he is being paid like 1 and is being treated like the 1 on this roster. I hope he can flourish now with Cutler who can get him the long ball. Our problem is we do not have that guy who can catch 10 balls a game. I hope Bennett can step up and would love to see Rideau get a chance. We need someone who Cutler can rely on each week like he had in Denver in Marshall.


Yes, MS, there are a lot of NFL teams that win without great WRs. Like the Bears, who have one of the best records in the last half dozen years, believe it or not.

But those teams don't do much in the playoffs.

Let's see, how did that Warner to Fitzgerald combo work out in the SB? Well enough to give the great Dick LeBeau nightmares he's probably still having. In case you missed it, he played a form of cover two where the safeties were right around the FL/GA border, and Fitzgerald still beat him.

And how did the mighty Steelers win? It sure wasn't because of their vaunted D or any kind of running game. It was because they had a great playmaking QB and a receiver, Holmes, who went up and got every big catch he needed to make. When have you ever seen Hester do that?

And Holmes, Pitt's number two, is head and shoulders better than anyone on the Bears receiving corps.

Finally, Andre Johnson sure picked a bad time to not "disappear" against the Bears, no? As I recall, that loss knocked us out of the playoffs and that WR had a lot to do with it.

But just keep telling yourself that Hester is good enough.

Remember Gault? I didn't think he was a great route runner either, actually give us a Plax and Hester can run across the middle - he has great hands and can make the finger grab, we did not see that much last year but he does have great hands. Gault was a number 1 but was not a probowler either. We can do it with Hester like we did with Gault and to me Hester has alot more upside than Gault.
I unlike alot of fans would love Plax on this team as he would free Hester up big time, and I don't feel he is stupid enough to shoot himself twice, with clauses he would be fine, I do not feel Boldin is a number 1 though, he is a great number 2, and he wants number 1 money. I feel Bennet will be fine as well too though so.....

But you are correct you have to be fine with it..lolol sorry but your right bout that, lets hope we get another WR to complement him. I have more faith in him than alot of fans I know.

Randy why are you trying to criminalize the Bears for the sake of a reciever. He has just as many night clubs and strip clubs here as he did in NYC. Tank "he gone" Benson "he gone" get it Randy.

Randy, when I read "...I don't feel he is stupid enough to shoot himself twice..." I had to laugh out loud!

BTW, he was stupid enough to curse out a cop who pulled him over.

BTW 2, he is going to jail and Goodell is going to spank him big time, so loving or not loving him is irrelevant. I hope he can run good routes in the Big House.

BTW 3, sure, if you put Hester on that '85 team, with that D and #34, he'd probably be OK. But that was then. This is now.

BRW 4, what are you basing your claim that he has great hands on? Not all those muffed punts, I hope. I said that Holmes made every big catch he had to make. Surely you are not saying that about Hester?

Anyway, thanks for the chuckle.

His hands were excellent the last couple years before last year, I saw Hester finger grab a cross route on the run, a bullet, he has good hands he just did not last year for whatever reason. And he caught alot of balls for TD's back there to have bad hands? Many balls were not even close to his hands last year and alot of Bears were awful last year and you are correct this is the Bears, who was our last number 1 WR that was a probowler? good question huh? So we can not compare him to legit other teams number ones. If you do then your dreaming as well. But we got Cutler so who knows maybe we are all dreaming. Routes? Yes, he uses speed for his routes, and now he has an arm to match his speed. I feel he will excell this year with a new QB with an arm. You do not, we will see.

I have not seen Tank get in trouble since that episode, have you? Cmon be for real, what has Tank done wrong since? (besides be a Cowboy)And I would def. trust Tank more than Plax, BUT I do believe in second chances. If not for second chances you would be mighty lonely. Plax did not shoot anyone, he shot himself, by accident. Stupid to be sure, but not like he shot anyone else. And from what I hear Cutler wants Plax. So that makes 2 of us I guess.

I think Ced was not guilty on that?

We can argue till we are blue and my attitude will not change and neither will yours. I believe in second chances and you don't. But deputy read what you wrote, you said he has as many nightclubs here... so your predicting the future on that one.
I am not - I am saying give him a chance and place a clause in his contract.
Yes, I could be wrong on Plax, but I would rather give a man a second chance and be wrong than never give anyone a second chance, it depends on the man and the crime of course. Crime being stupid and shooting your own leg in this case, or actually no crime at all in Ced's case. Unless you were marching at the Duke boys rally then I guess Ced really was guilty huh? Briggs is still here - I wonder why?
get it deputy?

This is why Hester can be a no. 1 in my opinion:

"They're trying to get better," said Pro Bowl Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams. "That's what everyone's goal is in the offseason, to get better. They think Cutler is the key to making their team better, and they made it happen."

Minnesota linebacker Ben Leber also believed the Cutler acquisition made the Bears better.

"They obviously improved that part of their team," Leber said. "We'll see what happens. I played him a couple of times and know what type of quarterback he is. We'll have to get after him."

Randy I understand your thought on Plax but he also has a history of being late for meetings and practices that draws too much attention to him. Also he is 32yrs old and will get a Goodell whupin so why even bother. I am one of those who believe that a reciever will shake lose right after the draft or shortly thereafter so there is no rush or need to get a player that will miss half a season. I believe the Rideau's and the Bennett's will step up if given a chance, those are the one's who deserve a second chance.

Olin Kreutz was fine until Reuben Brown got hurt. Being small, Kreutz needs at least one large and quality guard next to him. If the Bears get him that, I think he'll be fine. Yes, he's getting older and I don't expect him to be as good as he was in his prime, but with at least one big guard next to him I think he's still well above average.

Randy, like everyone else who dumps on Turner, you expect him to create something from nothing. Other than tight ends and tailback, the Bears had no talent on offense last season. Most of the rest of the offensive starters would not have started on other teams. To specifically address the play you're thinking of, the Bears were not a good passing team either and trying to pass would probably have failed also. Turner can't work miracles, which is what you're expecting. You cannot be successful over any significant period of time using smoke and mirrors, which is what Turner has had to resort to.

Remember what Turner did in the '90s with very little talent? Even in 2006 the Bears didn't have that much talent on offense: a quarterback who was mediocre at best, and a No. 2 receiver trying to be a No. 1, yet Turner got a lot out of them. The guy works wonders with nothing. Give him some talent and you'll see a really good offense.

I agree as I really do believe in Bennet, I am being selfish on this as I like what Plax could do as far as freeing up Hester, and I would rather have Holt (or a `fixed' Plax) but I also feel Hester can be a No. 1. (with a solid No. 2 to take the heat off him) You might be correct on Plax, I am selfish though and I look at what he does and how the Giants need WR help big time now, Plax really adds alot to the WR corps, and in my opinion Boldin is not worth what he thinks he's worth and I did not like his outbursts, Holt is old lets face it,
The main reason we are all arguing is that Jerry has a history of bad offense draft choices, I do not see us having the ammo to trade for Boldin, Holt is old, Plax has issues, etc..etc..So in my defense I am looking at `fixing' Plax as that may be our best bet, unless Bennet really comes on this year (and he's still too young to take the load off Hester) then we need a FA WR asap. Wait? well Holt is waiting too for some reason. Personally I don't care about issues so long as you bring it on the field. I like the old Raiders approach, and Snake and company, and I believe in loyalty to someone (team) giving a misfit another chance, now thats loyalty.

Cutler alone will upgrade our WR corps. :) But IF Bennet does not pan out - we are hoping Jerry can draft a WR? Thats not good.

Randy a wise man once said" you can't fix stupid" and that's way Plaxico in in the tank now This ain't the Raiders it's the Bears and look at the Raiders now. The Giants would rather do without than to deal with Plaxico and you still don't quite get it he is either going to jail or going to be suspended by Goodell or both he is not even a fantasy option. Expect Jerry to pull another semi or washed up reciever out of his sleeve and here we go. So come on get over it man. Second chances are for those who earned them, after he has paid his dues then he should be considered. I personally am tired of atheletes breaking laws we must keep all because the can catch a ball, hit a ball, throw a ball or shoot a ball. I have no sympathy at all for we are held accountable so should they.

I agree I am tired of it too, but it aint gonna stop - and I am not sure Plax will get any jail time, and Goodel might cave as well.

also why would Cutler `reach out to him' if Plax is not worth it?

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 15, 2009 10:34 PM.

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