Chicago Sun-Times

Harris officially returns to Chicago

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The Bears called upon a familiar face to upgrade their depth at safety.

They traded linebacker Jamar Williams to the Carolina Panthers for safety Chris Harris, originally a sixth-round pick of the Bears in 2005.

Harris, of course, was traded to the Panthers in 2007 for a fifth-round pick. That selection ended up being cornerback Zackary Bowman, who started 12 games last season and intercepted six passes.

The Panthers, meanwhile, got eight forced fumbles from Harris in 2007, which prompted them to give him a contract extension. But he's only had four more in the two seasons since, and he managed five interceptions for the Panthers.

In February 2008, Harris signed a five-year deal worth about $13 million. This season, he's due to make about $2 million, then $2.45 in 2011 and $2.9 million in 2012, the final year of his current contract.

Frankly, those aren't ridiculous figures for a starting safety.

It's unclear what the Panthers gave Williams, who was a restricted free agent.

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Compared to what we would pay for Atogwe, who granted is a FS, between $2-3 million per year is not bad at all for a proven starter. If they can get him to agree to less, then more power to them, but that is certainly palatable, considering how much salary we dropped this year in Goon, Alex, and Vasher on the defensive side.

Williams should get a deal in a similar range, averaging $2 mil per year over 4 years, with a signing bonus that puts his salary around $1.2-1.5 each year. That should get it done. If he plays better, they can build in incentives to escalate it.


WHAT? the bears make a good move? my mind is blown!

jerry is making smart moves

this is kind of creepy.

I hate to say it I hope Angelo stays now because of the moves hes made this offseason. Hes made lots of good one campared to yrs past. Maybe hes getting smarter lol

Good move all around, Williams needs a chance to play he'll get that with the Panthers, and Harris will give us a solid strong safety with a bit more speed than Alfalva had, I see Wright plugged in at Free and with Veterans all around him should make a smooth transition on the defensive side of the ball. Now we have depth to work with in the secondary and will see how good a coach Hoke is with the talent he has to work with, send Manning back to nickle where he belongs, and we can look to move either Payne on Steltz in a deal that may bring in a LG for the O-line...things are a changing in Chicago,Change WE NEED.....! go BEARS playoffs in 2010"

Great move! Welcome back Chris..... now let's lay some wood!! Can we get a guard or two and another receiver? I am asking now since we are getting upgrades.

When did Jerry Angelo become the GM for Carolina ?

I don't know. I hate to be the downer here because all in all it's a good move, but the worry I have is the corners. The Bears have two oft-injured starting corners and what to back them up? Corey Graham? The Moore twins? Did I forget someone? Corner seems to me just as much a problem area as safety, maybe more so.

ahhhh....chris hariss is a BUST! he was only a 6th ronder by ANGELO ans taht mean he STINKS like my panties!!!! waht teh bears shouyld have done is lissen to ME ans trade for MENDENHALLL loosers! ohhh taht mendnehnall...wah at hunk! cans you imagin hm rushing for over 3000 yards with his shirt off???? drool....

but yoy guys now me old crap-ton justrtying to be posativre...

ps ohh mendy! sweet swet mendy! :)

Jerry Angelo corners the market on Strong Safeties. I am telling you guys it will be Harris and Manning starting and niether can cover. There is a reason that Harris was traded before and there is a reason he was traded again. He struggles in coverage in a Tampa 2. It's not a bad move but I am still aiting for a FS. Wright will probably get some chances on Nickle downs but I doubt he starts.

Chris Harris SS/FS
D. Manning SS/FS/Nickle
C. Steltz SS/FS
K. Payne SS/FS
M. Wright SS/FS
A. Afalava SS/FS

Zack Bowman
P. Tillman
C. Graham Nickle, Safety
T. Jennings Nickle
D.J Moore Nickle
J. Moore Nickle
W. Turenne ST

13 DB's, someone is getting cut. Actually 2-3 guys will get cut.
How many SS and Nickle corners do they need?

There is your list Eugene.

OMG I forgot Josh in the box Bullocks, thats 14 DB's.

Well it will be intresting to see who end up where, Chris Harris told ESPN that the Safeties need to be interchangable but that he loves playing in the box.

No kidding, Harris likes being the box. Name a safety on the Bears who doesn't play better in the box. Well Bullocks is bad in the box but he is bad all over the place.

ESPN said Harris is penciled in at SS. So everyone else gets to try for FS. This should be intresting. Don't know if its true yet though, you never know what Lovie will do with his Safeties, maybe a 7 man rotation.

Well at least Harris is back.

Wright is the FS stop trying to make him a SS on the board you are confusing everyone. That is why he was drafted to play Free safety, as for Harris the veteran presence he brings along with Tillman will allow Wright to play and be effective in the scheme, you are focusing too much on the 3 safeties they had at Florida, last season the freshman you talked about was a stud and had to be on the field. Meyer rotated (Gators website for detail), all three and called them all starters, I know what you are going to say, the old cliche', if you have 3 starting FS safeties you have none, but that is not true in this instance. The time for Wright to come out was now, his stock could not get higher staying at Florida for another season. Manning goes bcak to nickle and Grahmam stays as top back-up corner. Both Moore's may get beat out by Woodny Turrene who we stashed away on the practice squad last season much like we tried to do the year before with Bowman. For once we are making some solid moves, don't be a killjoy and screw up the vibe man, for once be a real fan like you know you are and come out the closet and say Angelo is doing some good things for once.....Go BEARS

Isn't this an admission of guilt by addition?

anjello blows!

lovie can't develop

I know it has been said time and time and time again. But, when does this end?

Does this team have any full time starters in the secondary?

With Chris Harris back on the roster, he should be the strong safety. Which is good news not only because its an upgrade, but because it will allow Danieal Manning to go back to being the nickleback, his best position. I like the overhaul Angelo has done to the safety position, Harris at SS, rookie Major Right at FS, and Manning back at nickle, and the Bears secondary is lookig a lot better than last year.

As far as Jamar Williams, I'm happy to see him get his chance to start. Here in Chicago behind pro-bowler Lance Briggs, Williams would have never gotten a chance to start. The only thing I don't like is the depth Chicago is losing. Mayberry the rookie free agent linebacker from Indiana might be a big reason Williams became expendable also. The kid might be a find and the team has liked him for awhile, I thought they were gonna draft him (Mayberry). GO BEARS!!

I'm with Creighton on this one. We've got a secondary full of Strong Safeties and Nickel Corners. I'm happy to see Harris back, but I'm a little confused by the move. I figured that this was the year that they'd figure out if Alvava, Payne, or Steltz was going to be the guy at SS, but now we toss Harris back in? If Harris is going to be a solid starter, then I'm all for the move. I'm just afraid that we're going to have a different starting SS every couple games again.

I don't really see why everyone is annointing Wright as the answer at FS. He's a good guy to have on the team, but his college career doesn't automatically translate to starting FS. I hope he pans out, but I'm still a lot more nervous about the FS spot then I am over the SS spot.

Finally, I hope Williams gets some more playing time in Carolina. He shined whenever he was given some playing time.

I think it's a good move to bring Harris back. They should still go for Atogwe, but I think the offseason spending splurge is done.

The Bears looked like they were shelling out mad dough, but look at the numbers. They have shelled out 28 million on payroll this season. BUT!!! Pace, Vasher, Brown, and Ogunleye, and their contracts are gone off payroll. That is 23 million right there.

The Bears spent 5 million this year net. Plus the draft picks. That is basically a non-factor with no first or second rounder. They would still be way under the cap from last year based on these numbers.

Curious to see if this year's draft picks will actually play a lot this year instead of "redshirting" their rookie campaign. Iglesius, Gilbert (I know he played a little), and Melton were complete non-factors last year. Wright and Wooten must play and contribute this year.

Go Bears!

So which of our tall, rangy DEs is going to be offered to Miami for Justin Smiley? Wootton, Gilbert, or Idonije? I have a feeling Jerry isn't done yet, and is going to make at least one more move, for an experienced guard this time.

Does anybody else see the resemblance in all this gnashing of teeth about the secondary? This is the same type gloom and doom we were hearing about wide receiver last year.

Those two clowns shouldn't have gotten rid of Harris in the first place. When I first heard the news that they traded Harris for a 5th pick. I was saying what were you morons thinking of!!!!I knew Harris was a good football player. I wasn't sold on the other DB on the Bears roster except for Harris and Brown. It's good to see him back. I hope this is the last year will see J and L with the Bears. They basically mortgage our draft for Cutler which I know they could've just give a first and two second round draft picks. Enough already. Hope the they are gone after this year.

While we're at it, just want to remind everyone that our "top corner" Charles Tillman has only average cover skills......causes a lot of fumbles but a lot of balls get caught in his area. Everything about the secondary is scary to me. The scheme, the parts and the fact that the parts will no doubt be rotated more than we care to count.

Good to get Harris back on the team which should add some stability to the safety position.

It is a little confusing since Major Wright seems to be the one targeted as a free safety, Manning has never panned out at free safety does he slide back to nickel, if so who would be the other free safety?Is Harris going to be the Free Safety with the rookie Wright backing him up until he is ready in year 2 to take on the starting role with Manning and Alfalava at Strong Safety?

As for the Corners being able to cover, well it is amazing how good the corners and safeties become when there is a pass rush, which the Bears just may have this year.

This D is shaping up now, a top 5 defense is not out of the question if the core group stays healthy. Lets hope 3rd down efficiency dramatically improves and then maybe the Bears D can hold teams to an average points allowed of 17 in which case the Bears should win between 9 to 10 games, with a shot at the playoffs.

Manning is John Thierry Jr. If any of you remember that guy. He was "the freak" before Kearse. Unfortunately he couldn't play football. And Manning is the same way. A shade under 6' and somewhere around 210-215# with a legit sub 4.4 40, this guy should be the quintesential FS. When I mentioned clearing salary for a run at Atogwe, you could factor in his tender into that as well. This guy has had 4 years. And yes, I know Lovie has moved him around more than a chess queen, but still, you would think that somewhere his talent would have risen to the top. And you can't keep this guy on your roster for the possibility of 1-2 kickoff returns a year when you have Johnny Knox and Hester on the team. Manning's 1.176 mil + Olin's 2.333 mil would be a great starting part to come up with some of the dough.
As for the OL, you could bring in Arron Sears and have the Bear's medical staff look at him. He will be cleared in less than 5 minutes.

As some people are pointing out, the bears have a bunch of strong safeties and no free safety. Major Wright is supposed to start at free? Based on what, exactly? Here's an excerpt from a scouting report on him:

"He's an ideal center field-type defender, but he isn't the most instinctive defender and at times struggles to diagnose plays and locate the ball. He will not consistently get good jumps on the ball and can be slow to read and react to plays in both the run and pass game.

He isn't a ball-hawk and is more of a man defender in the secondary. He needs to do a better job locating the ball and playing the throw. Wright has a tendency to get locked onto his man and would rather go for the hit than play the ball. He leaves his share of turnovers on the field."

Not instinctive and doesn't locate the ball well? Not a ball hawk? More of a man defender? Typical of the three stooges, drafting another safety who not only has no football instincts, which is the most important skill for a safety, but who doesn't fit the Bear system at all. So they still have no free safety, the Bears better find a free agent one. And they still need at least a left guard and defensive tackle, unless you want to gamble that Tommie Harris will get back to his pre-injury form.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on April 27, 2010 2:18 PM.

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