Chicago Sun-Times

Could Bears trade a tight end before the season?

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During the offseason, teams always add as many quality players as possible then figure the war of attrition will clarify numbers at key spots.

It's evident that the Bears have quality depth at a couple of positions, but I can't help but wonder if they can somehow pick up a draft pick for a tight end.

Early in the offseason, Greg Olsen was constantly rumored to be on the trade block. Whether the Bears or other teams initiated the discussions or not, Olsen remains a Bear, and any doubt about his fit in Mike Martz's offense have been dismissed. I don't see any scenario in which the Bears trade Olsen. He's 25 years old, and he's shined throughout this training camp. While Desmond Clark continues to make plays, in his 12th NFL season, Olsen is the tight end who has the potential to really stretch defense's.

Blocker Brandon Manumaleuna is safe because of the $6 million in guarantees the Bears gave him in free agency.

That would leave Clark, Richard Angulo and Kellen Davis as players who could be expendable. Clark is 33, but he could be appealing to a team who needs a quick fix. The Dallas Cowboys, for instance, have some serious concerns at the tight end position behind Jason Witten. Martellus Bennett, a second-round pick in 2008, has missed at least nine practices, and veteran John Phillips will miss the entire season because of a torn knee ligament.

And Davis could be appealing because he's 24, stands 6 foot 7 and caught three touchdowns last season. Angulo, meanwhile, has bounced around the league for several years and most likely would remain a Bear and fill in if someone were traded.

But the Bears probably won't be quick to make any deals. Tight end is a physical position, and they only have the luxury of one player. An injury to someone -- anyone -- could change everything.

Just some food for thought.

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Why not trade a tight end given the numbers and potential ability to pick up a draft pick. Better that, than cutting a couple of tight ends and losing them anyway without any benefit to the Bears.

I don't know about any trades as far as the tight ends go. Especially with Brandon Manumaleuna being day to day with knee soreness. Like I said the other day, Manumaleuna is around 290lbs, thats a lot of weight pounding down on a knee that just had surgery. It might not be a bad idea to sit Manumaleuna for the season, why hurt the guy any worse and jeopardize his career long term wise? Yes Chicago has 6$ million big ones in him, but you wanna try and get a couple seasons out of him. Playing him this year could end his career.

If Manumaleuna can't go this season, Kellen Davis is simply gonna have to step up especially as a blocker, and Richard Angulo would make the 53-man roster as depth. That would give you Olsen, Davis, Angulo, and Desmond Clark who is gonna see a lot of action as an h-back GO BEARS!!

How many two TE sets does Dallas run? Witten is the best blockers and best recievers at his position so they don't need two guys to do one job like the Bears.

Don't take Olsen off the table, he was almost a Pat but Angelo wanted a second round pick for him. I am not sold on Martz using the TE as a reciever very much in his offense. However he does use an H-back on a regular basis so that guy needs to block and catch. Granted he needs to block more than catch but Martz stills uses his to supplment blocking on his deep drops.

If Martz wanted a recieving TE in his offense so bad they would not have tried to trade him.

I think it all depends on how much they will use the H-back, and how much they will rely on multiple TE sets. Martz traditionally wants as many weapons on the field as he can get, so our short yardage package may still only have 2 TEs and an H back in front of the tailback.

I think Angulo is pretty much a camp body, and will be dismissed when Manumaleuna is healthy enough to play. I still think we way overpaid for him, even though he is a fantastic blocker for the position. I think we will end up with Olsen, Manu, Clark, and Davis, with Clark, Olsen, and Davis all playing H back and TE.

If I were to trade someone, I would be looking at the secondary, since most of the fringe players we have there have a chance to stick with another team.

Kevin I think they are just being careful with Manumaleuna. Why burn him out in camp? The guy is a vet and already knows the system. He's going to block for Forte and catch maybe 6 passes this year. He should be healed up from a knee scope in plenty of time for the season and that's all that matters.

By they way, Manumaleuna looks to be a good player, but tell me again why they needed to drop $6 million for another tight end? I didn't really get it then and it's no clearer now.

As far as a trade it makes me nervous. It seems like every time the Bears think they have a surplus it backfires. Remember when Chris Harris was traded because they had too many at safety? They let Thomas Jones go because they thought they were stocked at running back.

If they could get maybe a 4th rounder for Des Clark or Davis I might pull the trigger. It doesn't seem likely.

Nicely laid out, Sean. I say keep Olsen, Manumaleuna, and Clark; release Angulo and trade Kellen Davis. I was thrilled when the Bears drafted him, but he should have shown more by now. On the other hand, his potential still excites me. Your right, Sean, it's a tough position to decide.

As I have said all along, the most enigmatic player on this roster is Greg Olsen. How many years have the Bear's looked for a pass catching TE with his measurables? All of my life. I mean Cap Boso, Tim Wrightman, Pat Dunsmore, Morehead, "Robo Cop", etc., etc., And no player on the Bears has been more missused over the past 3 years {maybe with the exception of Hester} than Olsen. He has had literally no positive direction/coaching/coordinating, no accountability, and yet, he seems to get better. As for blocking, quite a few times last year I saw Olsen block his man on run blocks fairly well. Usually it was a safety. It was in pass blocking where he quite often failed. And in many of those instances it was him in the backfield with a DE or bigger outside LB bearing down on Cutler. I never see Witten, or Dallas Clark put in those positions. Olsen's problem has been that he's never been held accountable for his blocking or lack thereof, and he's been used out of position. I want to see Olsen against slower safeties and LB's. Not trying to outrun Charles Woodson.
As for Martz, I don't think this over abundance of plays called for the TE's in camp is a smoke screen or anomaly. The Bear's don't have the time, nor the luxury to "try and prove a point." Mike Martz is:
A. A smart football guy. He is at the point in his career where he has to adapt to the talent around him. And like him or not, Olsen is very talented. &:
B. Along with Ted, Jerry, & Lovie, this is probably Martz's swan song. There is not much call for a silver haired offensive coordinator/coach unless your name is Walsh {R.I.P.} or Tom Moore. If he fails with Cutler & Co. and this ship sinks, he goes down with the captain. So it behooves Martz to adapt to the talent he was left with upon his arrival.
If it were me, I would trade Clark. He's 33, an above average player, but if you could get a 5th or so for him, that would be good. One last question. When did Manumaleuna learn the system? He was with San Diego last year and Martz was working for the NFL Network. I would hope that the FA signing would have been contingent on passing a physical. It is obvious that the Bear's doctors are not the same as the Redskins' If he is having knee troubles and setbacks in August on a really nice playing surface at training camp, what's he going to be like after a couple of games on the green painted mud at Soldier Field?

when i look up the definition of tight end in mike martz offence i see a picture of lance louis.
you wont get a draft choice for clark so let him play his days out here.
use olsen as the h back like klinesaucer.
they might get a #6 for davis but i'd keep him another year. louis should be groomed to replace malemula (sp?)in 2 years and they can get another lineman at some point.
pinella should leave early and they should let rhino see how it feels to take the reins. out of the 25 guys that started this year i expect over 15 to be different next year. weird way to run a major league ball club. new owners- we'll see maybe in my next life.

I just don't see how you trade a guy like Des Clark. He can do it all; block, catch, run. He's still our most versatile TE.

6 Mil for a one deminsional, second string TE that has yet to practice two days in a row.
What a rip!

Time for another brave prediction , even if wrong: Olsen, Clark,Manumaleuna,and Davis will all be around at the end of the season.Each has something unique to offer and contribute. I think Clark and Olsen will have great years , and Davis is going to continue to impress whenever he gets a chance to play.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 11, 2010 9:28 AM.

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