Many of you are now blowing up my email, wondering when and how the Bears are going to address the safety position.
To you I say this: chill out.
The Bears addressed one of the toughest positions by securing Julius Peppers. The reality is, unlike some other positions, elite pass rushers who still produce in spite of double teams are sort of hard to find.
The Bears also got new offensive coordinator Mike Martz a new toy in running back Chester Taylor and a safety blanket in tight end Brandon Manumaleuna.
Without a first and second round pick, I think the Bears realized they could only upgrade at defensive end through unrestricted free agency. But it is possible to unearth some gems at safety and guard with a third- or fourth-round pick.
In addition, the market for guards and safeties isn't anything like that of quarterbacks, receivers, cornerbacks and pass rushers, with the exception of a guy like Antrel Rolle, who was released on Friday.
There are some quality safeties available now. But I suspect teams, including the Bears, are waiting for the market to fall. Players -- and agents -- often over inflate the market.
Ryan Clark (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Sean Jones (Philadelphia Eagles) are among the top unrestricted free agent safeties. Antoine Bethea (Indianapolis Colts) is clearly the top restricted free agent. The was a post on Pro Football Talk that there seems to be a buzz about Gerald Sensabaugh (Dallas Cowboys), who is also a restricted free agent.
I fully expect clubs are going to draw up some offer sheets for restricted free agent safeties, at some point.
I can assure you the Bears have placed a value on certain players they think fit their system. But, unlike Peppers, there isn't a guy they have to have, so they're going to exercise some patience and try to get a bargain.
UPDATE: Another outside possibility is O.J. Atogwe, of the St. Louis Rams. But Atogwe, who played under the franchise tender at $6.3 million last year, was given the lowest tender this year by the club.
Because Atogwe was among the players who paid the steepest price because of the uncapped year. Normally, the Rams would have had to let him become an unrestricted free agent or franchised him again at 120 percent of his 2009 base salary. But because he has five accrued NFL seasons, Atogwe could again be restricted by the Rams.
By placing the lowest tender on Atogwe, the Rams essentially are encouraging other clubs to help with negotiations and showing him his market value. Meanwhile, the Rams still have the right of first refusal.
Atogwe can talk to other teams about a contract until April 15. If an offer sheet is drawn up, then the Rams would have seven days to match.
That's expected to happen since Atogwe has 19 interceptions and 14 forced fumbles in five NFL seasons.
But, if he doesn't receive any offers, the Rams have until June 1 to increase his tender or else he would be an unrestricted free agent.