Things have slowed down a little with the conclusion of rookie minicamp but the mail is still being delivered. We'll make it Five Down Territory for today after a long weekend. Let's get right to it.
Q: So I'm starting to come down from draft overload and I looked up a few things on this fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou the Bears signed. People seem to be pretty high on him. Does this kid have a shot to unseat Jason McKie?
James T., Charleston, Ill.
A: You might be aiming a little high to begin with. Let's focus on Ta'ufo'ou's chances to make the 53-man roster, first. He's an interesting guy who got a decent amount of publicity before the draft as the blocking back at Cal the last two seasons for Jahvid Best and Justin Forsett. Only two fullbacks ended up being drafted according to NFL.com and that left Ta'ufo'ou looking for an opportunity. A league source said he turned down more lucrative free-agent offers elsewhere because of the possible opportunity the Bears offered. The Bears remain happy with the veteran McKie, who started eight games last season but missed the final five with a bad quad pull. He's been banged up a little bit the past two seasons but there are not plans in the works to replace him as far as we know. Don't forget Jason Davis is on the roster also. He started three games while McKie was sidelined and played for offensive coordinator Ron Turner at Illinois, so he's familiar with the offense. To make the roster, Ta'ufo'ou is at least going to have to leap frog Davis. We say "at least'' because there is no guarantee the Bears will keep two fullbacks on the roster. They've gone with one at times, and they have done so recently because they lean heavily on double tight-end formations, which provide them with some able blockers. One thing Ta'ufo'ou has working against him is his size. He was listed at 5-11, 253 pounds in school, and after watching him in minicamp over the weekend, he might not be that big. Not according to this eye test, any way. So that is going to be an issue. Ta'ufo'ou was productive in college, he's considered a good leader and strong worker, so we'll see what happens. It's a position with a lot of injuries and anything can happen. At this point, we don't see McKie being beat out but there is a long way to go.
Q: I know that the Bears aren't allowed to speak about players under contract with another team, so I know this won't be published, but I'm wondering why the Bears don't look into acquiring Kassim Osgood from the San Diego Chargers. Apparently Osgood is upset with the Chargers due to his lack of opportunities in the passing game, and the Bears could offer players such as Israel Idonije, Dusty Dvoracek or Matt Toeaina who play defensive tackle in the 4-3 scheme but could fit the Chargers' 3-4 defense. Osgood is one of the best special team performers in the NFL and he could get an opportunity in the Bear's passing game with his large frame at 6-5, 220 pounds. This might be an underrated move, but definitely something I'd wish the team would investigate.
Carlos S., Monterrey, Mexico
A: The Bears might not be able to talk about Osgood but we can and we already did, touching on this issue back in March. Osgood was put on the trading block after the season and the Chargers were seeking a fourth-round pick in exchange for him. If that's what they set out as the asking price it's fair to assume they would accept less, maybe a fifth rounder, and the draft came and went with no one stepping up to the table. He's an interesting player but let's call him what he is--a special teams player. The Bears would not make a play for Osgood with the idea of him becoming a fixture in their offense. He has made four receptions since 2005. He's a special teams player, and a darn good one. He's not going to be a productive wide receiver. Could Osgood still be dealt? Sure, the Bears picked up Brendon Ayanbadejo after the draft in 2005. But Osgood is what he is, and he wouldn't cost Idonije to get. I doubt the Chargers would want a player in return and I don't believe Idonije, Dvoracek or Toeaina could handle the nose in a 3-4 scheme.
Q: Can you give me the scoop on the Bears possibly signing a veteran wide receiver. Also is it still possible they try to make another offer for Anquan Boldin? I think Devin Hester is a great athlete but he's not a No.1 receiver. He's the lightning in their special teams which has declined due to him playing wide receiver. I like Juaquin Iglesias but I think they need a veteran receiver to bring it all together. What can you tell me? Hopefully its good news.
John O., New Jersey
A: General manager Jerry Angelo came out following the draft and said he was more comfortable with the receiver position after the draft and therefore less inclined to seek veteran help. There isn't a lot out there either and we've covered what sits in the discard pile pretty thoroughly. As far as making a trade for Boldin--what are the Bears going to offer? They tried peddling their second-round pick to the Cardinals for him the day of the draft and Arizona had no interest. The Bears have been adding to their defense and aren't going to take from it in order to acquire Boldin. Besides, the Cardinals want to keep him. Hope you don't consider all this bad news, but that's the way we see it. We think a veteran receiver would make sense, but we don't make the decisions.
Q: I realize the Bears have only so many numbers to assign new players but was there no other number for D.J. Moore than No. 30? I don't expect them to retire Mike Brown's number or anything but given his contributions for nine seasons with the team and his being such a great leader, could they not have waited at least a year to put his number on someone else's jersey? Or is that just the Bears' way of erasing all doubt as to whether or not Brown might still return?
A: I don't believe there ever was any doubt about Brown returning when the Bears let him enter free agency without pursuing him. The door was shut then on one of the most popular and valuable (when he was on the field) players the Bears have had over the last two decades. Knowing Brown, I don't think he'd care one bit that they handed his old number to a rookie. He's a football player and a competitor. Defensive backs must be assigned jersey numbers between 20 and 49 according to NFL rules. With 79 players listed on the roster currently, 45 is being used by two players (fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou and safety Dahna Deleston) and the following numbers are not represented:
28--Retired for Willie Galimore
34--Retired for Walter Payton
40--Retired for Gale Sayers
41--Retired for Brian Piccolo
42--Retired for Sid Luckman
So, yes, the Bears could have assigned 49 to Moore, or given him another available number and given 49 to someone else in order to keep 30 open. Traditionally, the Bears assign cornerbacks numbers in the 20's and 30's though. Nothing is permanent but Moore didn't seem to indicate he had a problem wearing 30.
Q: Any news yet on whether Derek Pegues will be offered a contract? I think he would make the best free safety on the roster with his range and incredible ball skills. I'm looking forward to hearing if he get's a contract.
Bill H., Parts Unknown
A: Pegues was considered a third-round talent by some before some off-field character concerns combined with a disappointing 40-yard dash dropped him straight out of the draft. He was in for the rookie minicamp on a tryout basis and to this point--28 hours after camp ended--none of the 25 tryout players have signed contracts. That's a good sign none of the 25 tryout players have been offered contracts. Pegues is expected to participate in a camp with the New York Giants this week. No doubt he would have received a chance had he kept his nose clean in school but there could be more than just two arrests that teams are considering. I don't know that to be the case but it doesn't look like he'll be the best free safety on the Bears' roster, the worst free safety or anywhere in between at this point. It's probably fair to assume if the Bears thought he would be their best free safety, they'd at least roll the dice on a free agent they could sign for nothing.
Thanks for all of the participation and thanks as always for reading. We'll get to Four Down Territory again on Wednesday so get your questions in now.