Chicago Sun-Times

UPDATED: Contract for TE Michael Gaines can reach $1.25 million

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Michael Gaines' deal with the Bears can be worth as much as $1.25 million if he hits the bonuses and incentives in the one-year contract.

Gaines will receive the minimum in base pay for the veteran at $620,000, but he can trigger the other money in the contract.

It's a prove-it deal for the tight end, who could also be used on occasion as a blocker coming out of the backfield.

Getting released following the draft by the Detroit Lions did not put Gaines in a good position, agent Tony Agnone agreed. But the one-year deal allows Gaines to show the Bears what he can do to work toward an extension with them. Otherwise, the contract puts him back in free agency at a more opportune time--when it's beginning.

"That meant a lot to me how the Bears recruited me,'' Gaines said. "So it was a no brainer for me."

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I hope for his sake that Kellen Davis has a Plan B.

Superbowl here we come!!!!! Orton sucks and will not start for Denver!!!!

This was a good signing for the Bears. Chicago now has a tight end that can get some push on the line, and the fact he isn't a bad receiver will help make it so the Bears aren't so predictable when they use him in the red zone.

I see Michael Gaines can be used as a blocker coming out of the backfield, next question is, will Chicago keep just one fullback and four tight ends now because of Gaines ability to come out of the backfield as a blocker? This would help save Kellen Davis's spot on the roster if the Bears go with four tight ends and one full back. Its pretty obvious Chicago isn't happy with Davis as a blocker, but in all fairness to Davis, he was only a rookie, maybe in time? Davis is a very intriguing prospect because of his size 6-7, and his ability to make some very acrobatic catches. Maybe in time he could develop into a better blocker and could replace Desmond Clark in a season or two. The one knock on Davis coming out of college was he has to be pushed/motivated by his coaches, and can get lazy, so who knows what is really going on with Davis behind the scenes? I think the fact Gaines was only given a one year prove it to us deal, and the fact he can come out of the backfield might give Kellen Davis some more time, I wouldn't be surprised if the Bears go with four tight ends and one fullback, we'll see? Myself I'd go with two fullbacks, it should be very interesting to see what the Bears plans are with their tight ends/fullbacks GO BEARS!!

Anything that helps the short yardage offense I'm all for. Go Bears!

Orton is a very good QB and he was traded only bc a probowl QB was available, thats pretty high compliment actually.
anyway, why did we draft Davis? That was pretty much a wasted pick then huh? Was he a 5th? If not for the Cutler trade Jerry's picks are dropping like flys

Hey NeckBeardSucks, why toss Orton into this? This article has nothing to do with Orton. Oh, I get it - you're one of those bears fans who hates his own team. Orton did nothing but win when he was here, if you had bothered to watch any Bears games, you would know that he had a winning record. See you in the playoffs you fair weather fan.

Forgive me for thinking outside the box here... But does this now help us package a guy like Dez Clark with Nathan Vasher to a team who is in search of a tight end and cornerback...who may also have a WR who is wanting out of town?? We don't have a 1st round pick to send these teams, but it isn't impossible to get a deal done which may provide them with a more immediate return in exchange for their unhappy WR (who are both in search of new contracts and represented by Drew Rosenhaus, who the Bears have worked well with in the past).

Cleveland ?? Braylon Edwards ??? Arizona ?? Anquan Boldin ???

Kevin, sorry dude but their is no way the Bears go with 4 tight ends.

They already have too many numbers to crunch on the D-line, O-line, and at running back. Probably in the secondary too. Unless something happens with Dez Clark and Olsen, they look pretty stable at tight end.

We don't really know how it will shake out because stuff happens. Brad just talked about that a couple days ago. Signing Gaines tells me loud and clear that the Bears are not really expecting Kellen Davis to make a giant leap in development. On paper Gaines is a proven veteran in his prime.

I'd say Davis better show up to camp with his ears pinned back. Maybe he can surprise them, or more likely fight for a spot on the practice squad.

Cool. We got ourselves a blocking tight end. So do we go with 4 TEs and lose McKie or cut Davis? Davis' receiving skills are pretty good and with Dez in his early 30s, you wonder if unloading Davis now would be such a wise idea when he's a big guy who can make sweet catches. Can he really not learn how to block, or is it just that he won't? Maybe Gaines' arrival will push him to try harder.

I have no idea how Orton got dragged into this (oh right, hey there NBS) but Randy what are you smoking? Orton got shipped out of here along with TWO first round picks and a fifth rounder. You think that was a compliment to his ability? He was basically a pine tree-shaped air freshener in a Mercedes-Benz.

And HaveSomeRespect, how does NBS hate his own team? Orton's no longer on the team. Hello.

I'm not trying to defend NBS or his unprevoked and repetitive attacks on NB, but the aforementioned comments make him look like friggin' Thomas Edison against the inventor of the Big Mouth Billy Bass.

I dont think so Mike, as Orton was in such high demand in our Fantasy league that I could not trade for him, (that was before the inj)
So actually what r u smokin?

actually your comments are pretty lame Mike, and I do not appreciatte the bs you throw out in your post. What? you think Rex was better? (I like Rex but..) Rex was a first pick (same as we gave up) and Orton was better than most if not all of our firsts.
and not to defend HSR but yes, it does seem as if nbs hates Da as he was hatin on Orton when he was a Bear, so forget the bs about Orton isnt a Bear in your putdown on that.

Someone showed Kyles stats last year and they were pretty decent. Here are a few.

58.5% completion
2,972 yds
198.1 yds per game
18 td, 12 int.
79.6 rate
Now these are not probowl numbers by any stretch but they are good numbers - And if you look at the WR he had those stats are pretty da.. good, remember all the drops? And remember it was the offense that almost got us in the playoffs, (with Orton)- I am not saying he is a probowler but if we did not trade for Cutler who do you think would be our starting QB? Thats right Orton. as Kyle is a decent QB, In Fantasy Football stats are the game, I could not trade for Kyle as the guy who owned him felt he was too valuable as did I. So that tells you that Kyle was a good QB, and if Denver did not want Kyle I am sure we would have kept him. Do you really think they just took him just to have to pay him for nothing?

btw Eli Mannings stats;
16 games Orton had 15
60.3% completion
3,238 yds (1 extra game)
202.4 yds per game
21 td, 10 int.
86.4 rate

These stats are very comparable to Kyle considering Kyle had 1 less game and probably less than that with the foot inj.

btw Ben Rothlisberger stats;

16 games Orton had 15
59.9% completion
3,301 yds (1 extra game)
206.3 yds per game
17 td, 15 int.
80.1 rate

These stats are worse than Kyle's in some categorys

randy, good stuff, and I couldn't agree more. Orton was a lot better of a QB than a lot of fans gave him credit for.

MSBearsFan, I'm not saying it was a lock that the Bears are gonna go with four tight ends, I just said "it wouldn't surprise me," we'll have to stay tuned in to find out for sure. With Jay Cutler on board now, the Bears are gonna be a whole different team, so maybe they do keep 4 tight ends? And the fact Gaines can come out of the backfield as a blocker could also allow the Bears to go with 4 tight ends and one fullback. Davis might not become the blocker Chicago hoped he would when they drafted him, but he could still turn out to be a pretty good receiver and eventually develop into a decent blocker much like Desmond Clark. When Clark came into the league he wasn't the greatest blocker either, but sometimes with these young prospects it just takes time. I wouldn't give up on a prospect after just one season. Also, Gaines was only given a one year deal, why? Maybe he was given a one year deal to give Davis more time to develop, who knows? Like I said above, I'd go with 2 fullbacks and 3 tight ends myself, and again, we'll just have to wait and see what the Bears are gonna do, nothing would surprise me GO BEARS!!

I look at it this way...

McKie sucks.

Olsen is a solid pass catcher, average blocker at best, has above aveage speed for a TE. He will never be a complete TE ie... Good receiver/blocker but he will always be a great verticle threat.

Kellen Davis is of a similar mold as Olsen. Big, fast, great hands but a poor blocker. In Kellen's defense he is only entering his second season so he still has time to learn his craft. He needs to get on the field more even if it means creating plays to get him involved without asking him to block one-on-one until he picks it up. He is a mismatch to opposing defenders just like Olsen. LB's, CB's even safeties will have a hard time covering Davis downfield or in red-zone opportunities !!

Clark. Solid pro, a tenured Bear for (6) seasons now. Good catching the ball, blocks OK, has a problem holding onto the ball sometimes and has been productive every season as a Bear. He is however 32-yr's old, has (1) year remaining on his contract and it doesn't look like Angelo will give him another extension.

Gaines was added as a blocking specialist. None of the other TE's do a stellar job blocking but Gaines is an accomplished blocker who doesn't mind mixing it up in the backfield either. He is a gamer, he could care less what the coaches ask him to do, he just wants to play, period.

I'm hoping one of two things happen. (1) Angelo can work a trade involving Clark to a TE needy team for a 2010 draft pick or a veteran player to help us at either FS or WR. (2) Angelo dumps McKie and moves Gaines into the FB position. Of course Gaines is a TE by trade but Ron Turner used the FB sparingly last season anyway so why not make the death of the FB official ??? Gaines, Olsen, Davis and Clark can all find a nitche in the system. You can see plenty of (2) and (3) TE sets this season with one of them motioning into the back field as an "H" back. It's all about creating mismatches and Olsen and Davis can deliver coverage concerns for an opposing defense in pass routes.

Go Bears !!

Once again, we WAY OVERPAID for Cutler. He will likely be an improvement, but not a swap of QBs AND 2 firsts AND a swap of a 3rd for a 5th. The Bears simply panicked and gave up WAY TOO MUCH!

Orton will do well in Denver with a much better OL and MUCH BETTER WRs.

Still, Go Bears!

So apparently my comments got you so riled up Randy, that you responded with three posts, the 2nd hours after the first. I'm sorry, but that's just sad. I didn't think a blog post could set someone off so much. If you let me know beforehand that you're not an adult, I'll be more sensitive the next time around.

But anyway, what's the main issue here? You said Orton being traded for a pro-bowl QB was a high compliment to Orton. I said that was pure nonsense and pointed out that it was Orton with TWO first round picks. How is that a compliment to Orton??? Really, answer that question. How is that a compliment to him?

You spouted off with some stats and fantasy league stuff and I really don't know what I'm supposed to do with that. I'm solely talking about the trade that was made. It was QB for QB and (2) 1st rd picks.

Randy I would not compare Kyle and Ben Just yet. I believe Pitt played the toughest schedual in the NFL last year and the Bears played the weakest. So stats don't tell the whole story, Pitt had a horrible line and lost both there starting RB's. The Bears didn't have those problems. Orton did some nice things but he also did some very bad things, you can blame the ankle all you want but if you no football at all you know that is not the problem he was having. He was making mis reads and under throwing, which is something he did all season long. You may also want to note that last year was Ben's worst season, as compared to Orton's Best. If you watched the Super Bowl you saw what a guy like Big Ben can do as compared to an average player like Orton.

I don't agree people should be bashing Orton, it's like beating a dead horse, no need to be a poor sport the guy is gone. But I would not put him in the same league as Ben. I do have to agree with Mike about the trade, if you don't give up those two first round picks it doesn't happen. If you offered Ben to the Broncos for Cutler they would have done it in a second, with no draft Picks, lets remember McDaniels wanted to trade Cutler for Cassell who turned out to be worth a second round pick, so I don't think Ortons value is all that high if you had too throw in two first rounders. He was also placed on the second team in Denver. Maybe he will get the nod but that remains to be seen and nobody will know anything about him till the end of this season anyway. Maybe he will excell in his new system or maybe he will flop.

As for this comment by you:

By randy on May 12, 2009 2:18 PM
"I dont think so Mike, as Orton was in such high demand in our Fantasy league that I could not trade for him, (that was before the inj)"
"So actually what r u smokin?"

Unless your fantasy league had Bill Cowher, Bill Belichick, The Rooney Family, Andy Ried, and Bill Polian then your fantasy league has zero credibility in terms of talent evaluation. How do I know Dan Snyder is not in your league? Just a piece of advice and I am not trying to insult you or anyone who is into fantasy football, but thier is a reason it is called "FANTASY FOOTBALL." Now if you had Mr. Rourke and Tattoo welcoming me into your fantasy league then you might have something.

All that said Orton struggled with his audibles, the Carolina game stands out to me. He has a below average arm and was not very accurate, his mobility is a liability, he struggled on third down(the money down). Once the league figured him out he started making a lot of bad reads and allowed teams to bait him into throws he should not have made. Also when a team did manage to pressure him he tended to make a big mistake like the pick 6 he threw in the Tampa game while being chased. You can find a lot of Ortons in the NFL and in college, you cannot find a Jay Cutler just anyplace or time you want. Orton is just another Dilfer, I am really surprised anyone is still talking about this.

actually you don't know our Fantasy league, Fantasy Leagues are very competitive, with a guy's football knowledge and respect on the line, Most Fantasy Football players keep up on stats big time, so for you to assume that our league is bush is just wrong. If you recall, which you do not, Orton was extremely hot before the ankle injury, he was being talked about on ESPN as having a great season, your memory seems to be short only bc you don't like Orton. I repeat I never said he was a probowler, I said he was decent, and I never said he was a Ben I said his stats were similar and in some cases better, - read them again they do not lie. I felt his audibles were very good - why are we discussing this? bc nbs has to throw out bs on every post instead of actually having something constructive to say to the rest of us. Look at the stats - no they dont tell the whole story - Orton had a bad WR group, and by everyones estimation his line played above their ability, but still were nothing to write home about and his stats were similar to a probowlers - tell me that isnt so. Why you feel the need to put down a class act and someone that rode the bench patiently - a Bears bench by the way is beyond me, and when he got his chance he won, the offense performed above what everyone expected, say it was Forte by himself all you want but Kyle had alot to do with that, and Denver could have turned Kyle down - right? His arm strength wasnt there? hmm didn't stop him from winning when he got in did it? A game manager? alright I have seen game managers go to the SB, Our D lost the year for us last year - try to deny that.

JPCZ, I don't think the Bears gave up too much for Cutler.

Orton was average and a throw in at the end of the deal to make it happen. Denver wanted the picks and got them. The Bears wanted a young, proven, franchise caliber QB that they haven't had in over 30 years and got him.

Think about the value the Bears have dumped into that elusive Franchise type QB chase over the years and it is mind boggling how many draft picks they wasted over the years in pursuit of that elusive "Holy Grail".

Mike Phipps, Purdue: The Bears traded their 1978 first and fourth-round draft choices to the Cleveland Browns for the eight-year veteran.

Vince Evans, USC: drafted by the Bears in 1977 in the sixth round.

Jim McMahon, BYU: McMahon is heralded as one of the best two Chicago Bears quarterbacks in their 87-year history (along with Sid Luckman (1939-1950). McMahon is the only Bear quarterback to be selected to a Pro Bowl in the modern era. Drafted: 1982 (1) Started in 1982-1988. Traded in 1989.

Steve Fuller, Clemson: Fuller was acquired from the LA Rams via trade prior to the 1984 season.

Rusty Lisch, Notre Dame: blah !!

Greg Landry, Massachusetts: Signed in 1984. Started in 1984. Retired in 1984

Mike Tomczak, Ohio State: Tomczak was signed as an undrafted free agent in 1985.

Doug Flutie, Boston College: Traded for in 1986. Started in 1986 Traded away in 1987

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan: Legend has it that Ditka threatened to quit when he was overruled in the draft room about taking Harbaugh with the 26th pick of the 1987 draft. Drafted in 1987 (1). Started from 1988-1993. Released in 1994.

Peter Tom Willis, Florida State: Drafted in 1990 (3). Released in 1994.

Will Furrer, Virginia Tech: Drafted in 1992 (4). Started in 1992. Released in 1993.

Erik Kramer, North Carolina State: Signed in 1994. Released in 1999.

Steve Walsh, Miami: Signed as a backup to Kramer in 1994. Lost to free agency in 1996.

Dave Krieg, Milton College: Signed in 1996. Started in 1996. Not re-signed after the 1996 season.

Rick Mirer, Notre Dame: Traded for a first-round pick, the 11th in the draft. Wannies death blow !!

Steve Stenstrom, Stanford: Drafted: 1998 (7). Started in 1998. Released in 1999.

Shane Matthews, Florida: Matthews was a third-stringer for the Bears from 1993-1995, then again in 1996, and was brought back for a third time in 1999. Following the release of Kramer, Matthews became the first starter for Gary Crowton's "razzle dazzle offense". Matthews played admirably from 1999-2001, but lacked a big-time arm.

Jim Miller, Michigan State: Signed in 1998. Started in 1999-2002 Released in 2003.

Chris Chandler, Washington: Signed in 2002. Started in 2002-2003. Not resigned after the 2003 season.

Henry Burris, Temple: "Happy Hank" was Signed in 2002. Started in 2002. Released in 2003.

Rex Grossman, Florida: Drafted in 2003 (1). Started in 2003-2008. Not resigned after the 2008 season.

Kordell Stewart, Colorado: Signed in 2003. Started in 2003 Released in 2004.

Jonathan Quinn, Middle Tennessee State: Signed in 2004. Started in 2004. Released in 2005.

Craig Krenzel, Ohio State: Drafted in 2004 (5). Started in 2004. Released in 2005.

Chad Hutchinson, Stanford: Signed in 2004. Started in 2004. Released in 2005.

Kyle Orton, Purdue: Drafted in 2005 (4). Started in 2005, 2007-2008. Traded to Denver for Jay Cutler.

Brian Griese, Michigan: Signed in 2006. Started in 2007. Traded to Tampa bay.

Yep. Cutler was definetly more then worth the price paid. If your not convinced look at how well Angelo has drafted in round (1) in his Bear GM tenure !!

Go Bears !!

Sorry Anonymous, I'm with Randy on this. Orton was the piece that differentiated the Bears and made the deal happen. My understanding is that Washington had 2 #1s and Jason Campbell, but Denver wanted Orton. Did Denver want Orton badly enough for a straight-up trade . . . no, of course not, but Orton is no commodity.

You said Orton has below average arm strength, and I say 'NONSENSE'. He has above average strength. Watch the nice tight spirals he throws and the distance they travel and how quickly the ball arrives. I think there is a misconception that Orton does not have decent arm strength because he throws a poor deep ball.

These are 2 different things. Orton has the strength to throw deep, his timing and/or accuracy are lacking in this part of his game.

Also, you mention Orton failing on third downs. I wonder if we could measure how much of this is due to receivers dropping the ball, and St. Clair throwing 'Look-Out!' blocks (that's where he gets beat and turn to Orton and yells: "Look-Out!"). It seems to me these drive killers were frequent occurences.

You mention his lack of mobility. This does seem to affect Peyton Manning a whole lot.

Finally, Cutler will likely be an improvement, I just don't think enough of one that warranted what we gave up for him.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 11, 2009 6:19 PM.

Bears reel in blocking tight end Michael Gaines was the previous entry in this blog.

Four Down Territory, May 12: Bears combat emerging 3-4 defenses with Cutler is the next entry in this blog.

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