Chicago Sun-Times

Lovie happy with roster as it, but doesn't rule out Plaxico Burress

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Lovie Smith said the Bears have not ruled out pursuing free-agent wide receiver Plaxico Burress, but he believes the team can win with what it has right now.

The team ended its 10-week offseason program on Wednesday afternoon at Halas Hall. The session concluded with the two-minute drill for the second team. Caleb Hanie hit third-round pick Juaquin Iglesias for a deep touchdown pass. Perhaps Smith and management feel good enough about the inexperienced crew of wide receivers on the roster to go forward without making a play for Burress, who his handlers say will not face a trial on gun charges in New York until after the season.

"Plaxico Burress is a good football player,'' Smith said. "Of course, we all know that. We keep all of our options open. We're constantly evaluating all players that are out there. I feel good about our team that we have right now. I feel good about the receivers we have right now.

"The door is never closed on anyone that is available. We've said that every time any player that has been available has been out there. We're saying the same thing right now. It's not like we're aggressively going after him. We evaluate everyone that we think can make our team better. We think we're a strong football team without adding anyone. We would like to improve on every position but right now we feel like we can win with this group.''

Smith said the Bears have had no discussions about Brandon Marshall, who announced earlier this week that he would like to be traded out of Denver like former teammate Jay Cutler was.

Burress faces up to 3 1/2 years in prison for carrying an unlicensed handgun into a Manhattan night club last November. He accidentally shot a hole in his leg. The Bears are one of three teams known to have contacted agent Drew Rosenhaus about the player. The New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the others. Rosenhaus said earlier this week that a fourth team has reached out to him.

Besides the legal angle with Burress, teams have to consider what type of sanctions he could face from commissioner Roger Goodell. He is expected to be suspended for violation of the personal conduct policy. Rosenhaus is adamant that will not happen until after the court case is completed, but the NFL office has made it clear Goodell can act at any time.

"We try to weigh all of it,'' Smith said. "That's a big part of the evaluation process. Everybody has a history and you go with their history."

Smith said he has not spoken to Burress. Bears players have made it clear they would be in favor of adding him to the mix. As the roster is constituted right now, only Devin Hester and Rashied Davis have tangible NFL experience. The team is counting on significant contributions from Earl Bennett and rookies Iglesias and Johnny Knox. Brandon Rideau could also figure into the equation. It puts an awful lot of pressure on Cutler, who said he has not spoken with the disgruntled Marshall lately.

Check back later this afternoon for more details from the final OTA.

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Enough is enough
Lets get Burress and go to the Super Bowl! The players are saying the right things about him for a reason. They know he is a real possibility to come here - no sense in alienating a possible teammate, he has done nothing wrong in Chicago!
Who would pass up a ProBowl caliber player to `develope' younger players?? He will only take up one position, that leaves plenty of room to work in young WR.

I agree with the notion of getting a talent like Burress and I think that most people are excited about the possibility of a receiver that can stretch the field like Plaxico. However, I would wait til around training camp to make that decision if I was in the Bears position only because you have to weigh both sides of his current situation and be sure that he is worth the risk of signing or just forget about it and move forward with the talent you have. Just sayin....

Since when has Lovie *NOT* been happy with his team? Lovie doesn't have the courage to stand up to his bosses and tell them what he thinks he needs in terms of personnel. Is the current Bears team superbowl-caliber? Come on! Lovie is a YES man.

Lovie should be the d-coordinator and let's bring in a real coach already. We pay too much money to watch this sorry outfit in Chicago.

I'm with you Randy. Like I said earlier, Burress is the missing piece to the puzzle. No one on the Bears, plus coaches, are dismissing the idea. Jay Cutler said all the right words today and reached out to Burress early on. If the Bears are good with it, why wouldn't the fans go along with it too. I believe he will be a Bear.
Go Bears!!

I agree with Miguel. This is the coach who emphasized Rex being 'Our' QB, fired Rivera while pointing out that he knew what he was doing and appointed Babich as the DC-as if he were a saint going to lead us to the promised land. Is he ever going to consider talking the truth at some point?
Deal with Burress as Buffalo dealt with T.O. 1 year incentive laden contract. If that gets us to the big stage then consider renegotiating.
Yes, Burress is stupid and although some people have commented on his tardiness others have supported him, very unlike the T.O case. Given the circumstances I think Burress is wise enough to keep his mouth shut and perform, which would be great for the Bears.


What Lovie Smith says to the media and behind closed doors are two entirely different things. You're not going to get anything but positive from him in public and we know it. That doesn't mean he isn't privately lobbying for the guy.

If you wanna judge him on the Rivers-Babich debacle, then so be it. However, the man isn't getting paid to tell us everything we want to hear, when we want to hear it- nor should he be. Just keep winning and he can say whatever the heck he wants- he can go out there and conduct the whole interview in Farsi for all I care.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on June 17, 2009 1:15 PM.

Mile High revolt? Brandon Marshall wants out, Broncos sign Lloyd was the previous entry in this blog.

Cutler passes on chance to lobby for Plaxico Burress, Brandon Marshall is the next entry in this blog.

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