Chicago Sun-Times

Harris likely returning to Bears

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Chris Harris is "tweeting" about a return to Chicago.

The Bears traded the hard-hitting safety to the Panthers during training camp in 2007, and have likely been regretting it ever since. Lovie Smith still thought Adam Archuleta could play when the deal was made. The Bears also had rookie Kevin Payne and Brandon McGowan and Mike Brown had recovered from injury.

Three years later, only Payne remains on the roster, and he doesn't appear to have a future as a starter.

The deal could involve a linebacker. Sources said the Bears were shopping several linebackers before and during the draft and another source confirmed that Jamar Williams was still being shopped. There are also reports that Hunter Hillenmeyer will be involved in the deal.

Harris has made 44 starts for the Panthers the past three seasons.

The Bears got a sixth-round pick in the 2008 draft for Williams, which they used to draft Zack Bowman.

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I wonder if it is a linebacker, or maybe a defensive lineman? Williams makes the most sense, but Roach may have more value to another team because of his ability to play strong and middle. Williams can probably play middle if he had to, but he is a better fit on the weak side.

This would be a good move for the Bears, because we have questions about both Payne and Afalava, and Manning is a better athlete than safety. Harris would lock that spot down, and that gives us more flexibility with the free spot. Bullocks or Wright could start the season, and you still have a veteran presence at the other spot who we know can play.

A lot of us were saying before the draft that we should use a LB to get either a better pick or more picks, so we could shore up the defensive backfield. Well, we are accomplishing one of the two, and getting a guy who knows the system and can get the job done.

This would be a very understated move compared to the others this offseason, but could be as valuable as any other move we made.

Tip of the cap to Angelo if he pulls this off without mortgaging the farm.

It's Williams according to 670. I think Harris will be the free and Wright will be the strong, kinda like what Creighton was saying.

There's some good news! I wonder who will be the "player to be named later?" We know two things about the current Bears management.

1. They have trouble with a couple positions, one being the safety position.
2. The one position they can get right is linebacker.

Therefore trading a linebacker for a proven safety is a good thing. Now those holes in the roster don't look quite so imposing.

I'm starting to really wonder about how long Manning is going to be around. Last year Lovie made the dude his personal project. The head coach himself took on the task of finally bringing out the football player under the athlete. However it didn't seem to work out. As the year went on, Manning's reps dwindled a long way down. He really wasn't tendered very high this offseason.

It can't be a good sign to go from being the teacher's pet to sitting in the corner. I wouldn't be shocked to see him out the door sometime between now and the final cutdown day of preseason.

It is being reported that it is Jamar Williams. It is a good move by Angelo, but also an admission that he made a mistake 3 years ago. It really goes to show how inept the Bear's safeties have been in the past 3 years because Harris is an above average player, but compared to the Steltzes, Archuletta's, Bullocks, and Payne's of the world, he looks like a pro bowler.
I would still like to see them move some salary {maybe Olin, could Beekman be that much worse? I doubt it.} and take a shot at Atogwe. Here we are nearing May and the Rams have not inked a long term deal with him. As I mentioned 2 weeks ago, it's not a priority of the Rams, no matter what they say. With a rookie 3rd round pick, {commanding a very small salary} Wright could back up O.J. and either Steltz or Payne could back up Harris, you could free up a little salary there.

Its Williams, I like Chris Harris but he has never been a great Cover 2 Safety, worse he has never been a great tampa 2 Safety. Thats why Carolina is trading him, they switched to a 1 gap tampa 2 colts style. Harris is an in the box SS and a good one at that, welcome to the over crowded SS position. Lovie said Manning was his SS this year, this seems like a strange move unless Smith wants to use Harris at SS and Manning at FS until they feel Wright is ready or vice versa. You know what they say when you have two starting vets, two vets will start. Manning and Harris are young as well, Wright may not see a lot of playing time with the first team, his play is very similar to Harris, so now I am wondering why they drafted him. Now it really starting to seem like a waste. Harris and Manning have a huge leg up on him, they are both young and they both know the defense.

The score is reporting the deal is done. You don;t need to mortgage the farm for Harris Joe. He was the third best safety at Carolina and did not fit the new scheme very well. I get the feeling he will be starting at FS. He is an ok safety most Bears fans treat him like Ed Reed or Kerry Rhodes though. Its always that way with the ones that got away. Manning was rated higher than Harris was last year, except Manning was rated higher against the run and Harris was rated higher against the pass.

I've always liked Chris Harris. When he got traded, I was in total disbelief, I hoped it was some sort of mistake or something. But now that he's likely coming back, hey, that's awesome!

My only issue is that our scarecrow of a "coach" gave him away in the first place for a handful of magic beans so his old pal Archie could have a spot. Now we have to give something up for a player we had and thought nothing of because he's better than anyone else we have. Go figure.

Rumor is that Jamar is on the way out for Harris. I love getting Chris Harris back, he is an aggressive safety that I don't think we should have ever gotten rid of in the first place. I understand they wanted to develop D. Manning or others at the time, but Harris was a solid piece of our defense when we were still at least pretty good there.

However, I hate seeing Williams go. He was a guy who was never given enough of a fair shake here, and I'd like to see him start somewhere, so this is good for him. I hope he turns into a stud LB now, with his chance to play alongside a guy like Beason. I don't want to see Carolina succeed, just Jamar.

All in all, we just got a starting SS for a backup LB who would never see the field behind Briggs, and not being a natural SLB like Pisa or Roach. Great trade by the Bears, so long as it goes through...great move for shoring up the secondary.

Mike, the idea of the Bears giving him away for a handful of magic beans is ridiculous. We got a starter with the pick we received for him, Bowman. Chris Harris was a good player for us at the time we traded him but it was very logical, not ideal, but logical to trade him. I don't blame management for getting a fifth rounder out of him considering Santonio Holmes and some of these other high end players are going for fifth round picks now. I'm just glad that we got him back and that Jamar will finally get a chance to play.


I don't agree that Manning should have a leg up on anyone, except for nickel back and kickoff returns. It's hard for rookies to start, but if Wright is any good he should be able to beat out Manning. Safety requires good football instincts above all -- that's a main reason why Mike Brown was so good -- and Manning doesn't have them.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on April 27, 2010 12:46 PM.

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