Chicago Sun-Times

Vikes want Taylor --- so might Bears

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The Vikings would like to keep Chester Taylor. The veteran running back is a good fit for offensive coordinator Mike Martz's new scheme in Chicago, as well.

"Chester Taylor brings so much to this football team. He's like the unsung hero of the offense," Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

The 31-year-old is an unrestricted free agent. Given the lack of available free agents because of status of the collective bargaining agreement, Taylor could be in great demand.

Establishing his worth could be difficult. He is an older player, but he has not been a featured back lately and therefore hasn't taken the beating typical of backs his age. He would like to start but that might not be in the offing, either. Chances are, he'll end up playing a dual role like he did in Minnesota with Adrian Peterson.

His pass-catching ability might make him attractive to the Bears, who could use an alternative to Matt Forte. Willie Parker, Larry Johnson and Kevin Faulk are also available.

"He may be, as we look and we evaluate all the free agents out there, one of the top free agent backs coming out," Spielman told the paper. "Especially in that role he plays in third down, it's so valuable for us."

Taylor earned $3.6 million last season and likely seeks a deal for as much or more this coming season given his productivity and lack of quality free agents at his position.

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15 Comments

Willie Parker is a home run threat, but he's injury prone, the Bears already have an injury prone back in Kevin Jones. As far as Larry Johnson, I don't like what he brings to a locker room, the Bears don't need that, and he's basically hit that end of career wall so many power backs do at this point in their career that Johnson is in. I don't like either one of these guys.

I say go with either Chester Taylor or Faulk. Kevin Faulk is a great all-purpose back, but he's been in the league since 99 and is a little undersized. Taylor seems like the best option for his ability to catch passes out of the backfield, and his size, unlike Faulk, Taylor could be an every down back if something were to happen to Forte. Taylor seems like the best choice if Angelo is going after a free agent back to add to the mix? The Bears also have 2nd year player Kahlil Bell, who could be a lot better now that he has some NFL experience running plays under his belt and is going into his second NFL season. He should be a much better player, and could be the #2 back Chicago is looking for, just an opinion GO BEARS!!

Hey Kevin Armstead - that was boring and obvious.

Thanks.

Where's Roland Harper when you need him?

I would be shocked if they let Taylor out of town, especially given Peterson's fumbling tendencies. They need an experienced back that knows their system that they can trust if they need to let Adrian sit out for a bit after putting the ball on the ground.

The solution for the Bears? LaDainian Tomlinson. Bell can play special teams as the 3rd running back on the roster, and Forte and Tomlinson would be an excellent 1-2 punch in Martz's offense. He is always on the lookout for Marshall Faulk-type talent, and Tomlinson is probably the closest in the league to that as anybody over the last 10 years. Maybe he can't be the 320 carry per year guy any more, but if you give him 150 carries, and 50 catches, that would be a nice complement to Forte.

I don't like Kevin Faulk simply because he is a Dennis Gentry type player, where all he runs are draws and screens. He is not the kind of back that functions well with young, underdeveloped skill players around him. If we were in our 2nd or 3rd year in Martz's offense, Faulk would be a nice change of pace, but we need guys who can not only get into the pattern, but take the ball inside and pound out a tough couple of yards when we need it. Tomlinson and Forte could both do that, and with some work, Bell could be a decent back out of the backfield. That way, we have three guys who can all attack the defense on the ground and through the air.

Kevin Jones, when healthy, could be that guy as well if we don't go the free agent route. Garrett Wolfe is nothing more than a special teams guy. We need to end the experiment with Wolfe, Peterson, and Rashied Davis. Younger guys can play special teams too, as evidenced by Shaw's emergence this season. Kevin Malast can take Peterson's spot, and probably get fewer penalties and make more tackles. We already saw Bell take over Wolfe's spot. And from what we were hearing, Iglesias is capable of being a coverage guy. If not him, DJ Moore, or Woodny Turenne can take Davis's spot on coverage teams.

We only have 3 weeks to go until free agency starts. We can start signing street free agents prior to that, but my guess is they will hold out hope that the new CBA will be worked out before we hit March 4th. There will be limited movement before we hit Midnight on the 4th. Of course, the Redskins will have already cut two or three deals before the start of the free agent period. I would be thrilled to see 2 or 3 free agents early on in the signing period, so we can go into the draft with some holes filled. Kerry Rhodes and Aaron Kampmann would be my first two choices, and I certainly wouldn't mind seeing a guy like LT if they release him prior to March 3rd.

I believe CT is a good compliment for Forte(if the Bears can sign him). K Jones is injury prone and shouldn’t be a serious cap hit if released (not that it matters for this year). I say go with Forte, Taylor and Bell as your one through three for next year. Unless, something comes out of nowhere for a third.

I understand Olsen could be a beast if used differently in Martz offense. However, Martz thinks TE’s should BLOCK first and CATCH second. Everybody knows Olsen doesn’t block very well. If by some divine intervention Olsen finds a way to add blocking to the toolbox so to speak, great! I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one.

As for Faulk as an option.... Kevin, you said it already about his age and size. Also, I think he is a system guy anyway. With that said, we already have G Wolfe who is younger and probably faster with special teams accomplishments. You wanted an opinion and now you have one. I do not believe either one is going to make us any better.

Chester Taylor is the number one FA runningback out there, end of story. LT has too much mileage (as do other names in this article) and Taylor would be a great addition to Da Bears' RB corps. He's a great third down back slash blocker with good hands (which meshes well with a Martz system) and can allow Forte to stay fresh (plus even Bell would be more effective if Chester were around). Finally, Wolfe would replace Peterson as an efficient player and a special team contributor.

Yeah sure Id like to see Taylor come here, I like Jones and his injury last year was a fluke kinda thing, that he is prone to, weird I know. But I expect the Bears to go with Jones again like they did with Pisa who is also in the same boat as KJ. Too many teams will line up for Taylor and he wont be worth us going overboard like we did for Cutler who was worth that kind of a bidding war.
and like Kevin stated I would like to see more of Bell, he looked quick to the hole last year, amybe exactly what we need.

Where's Roland Harper when you need him?

He's finishing up a year of house arrest for acting as a front man in a $1.5 million fraud involving a landscaping contract for Chicago public schools.

Hey Kevin, what is with you and all the friggin sports announcers using "Home Run" to describe football. I am sick of hearing the term referred to in sports other than Baseball.

Hey perry joseph- I still think the Steelers suck.

Thanks. GO BEARS!!

LOL, Willie Parker? Even Rashard "I stand more upright than any RB in the league" Mendenhall looked better than him. Fast Willie's done.

And Ladanian Tomlinson!? He's averaged under 4 yards a carry his last two years and that was with the Chargers' line. Is he somehow going to look better behind that superforce of a line here in Chicago with such legendary names as Williams, Garza, Shaffer and Omiyale?

I agree with superfan. Taylor is probably the best choice out there but is he really worth the cash? JA could just draft someone or scour other teams' practice squads. There's plenty of good RBs out there. Maybe we'll get lucky and find a Jamaal Charles.

Leon Washington, he is fast, quick, has good hands out of the backfield, is a better pure runner than Sproles, he is a special teams star, and he can play the wildcat. Plus he is only 28. He is fast enough to turn the corner, is a legit change of pace back. He may never be an every down back, but he is a stud number 2 back. 4.9 yards per carry average. In 2008 he gained 2,317 all purpose yards, tops among all backs in the nfl.

I wouldn't say Taylor is the number 1, I would say Washington is. Taylor is pretty much Matt Forte. He is a little better between the tackles but not as good out of the backfield. But they are pretty much the same player.

You gotta like Chester, he would fill the 3rd down role well and if Forte goes down to injury CT could be a starter and perform at a high level.

More importantly however is the need for a good free agent in the other areas of the team namely Free Safety and defensive or offensive line.

Kampmann and Rhodes, would be sweeter than Lovie Dovie. However, with Lovie as coach the players seem a lot more soft and out of shape than they have in past years.

Between practice sessions they probably serve up some nice milk and cookies, you can tell Tommie Harris and Harrison love the oreo's YES!!

I think when it comes to free agency you have to stop and first ask where you are going with the team in general? Are the Bears:

1) A team ready to compete deep into the playoffs and just a couple missing pieces from the Super Bowl?

2) A team with a core of young but veteran players ready to start their playoff resume this year and build to a Super Bowl run in the next 2-3 years?

3) A team that finally got their francise QB last year and started re-building(re-loading)last year?

4) A delusional team that will find out this year that it is time to clean house, take their young QB, and start over?

The only reason you would take a Faulk, LT or LJ is if you think you are in category #1. If your answer is 1) or 2) then Chester Taylor makes some sense. If you are a category #3 guy, then you don't want anybody over 30, especially at running back.

This question applies to most free agents. For example you would not want a Torry Holt if you are a #2-3 believer.

Taylor is a really good player, but I think the Bears are somewhere between a 2 or a 3. For this reason I would not spend a lot of bucks on a Chester Taylor and would look to the draft or UFA route for a backup running back. (like Pierre Thomas?) Maybe the Washington kid.

If you think the Bears are in category #4, why do you care?

Why are we thinking abut a running back?
Kallil Bell is a fine back and our Adrian Peterson should be the guy we sign if we go after a back!
He has a major impact on special teams and has proven to be a quality 3rd down back but has underachieved due to poor play calling!
Now that we a have a pro play caller maybe some of these guys can finally fullfill their potentials!

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 14, 2010 6:14 PM.

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