The 53-man roster is due Saturday afternoon, so the Bears have been making the league rounds on the off-chance they can get a draft pick for one or two of the guys they're going to cut or choose among. That's just standard operating procedure. But a league source said Tuesday there is still talk that tight end Greg Olsen is available. Olsen trade talks heated up at the owners meetings in March, and the team thought there was a deal to be made with the New England Patriots on draft day, only to see them grab a tight end in the second round and come back the next day for another in the fourth round.
Since then, there has been nothing but tireless propaganda about the way Olsen fits into Mike Martz offense. Now, it seems possible that the struggles of 2008 first-round pick Chris Williams could lead to a trade of 2007 first-round pick Olsen because newly minted veteran tight end Brandon Manumaleuna has to play as an extra blocker. The problem remains the Bears' reluctance to trade Olsen for anything less than a second- to third-round pick despite his market value being roughly a fifth-round pick. The situation is complicated by Cutler's friendship with Olsen, who has received favored-receiver status with the quarterback.
An Olsen trade might be just the distraction needed if the Bears are going to cut one of three former third-round picks currently on the bubble: RB Garrett Wolfe, DL Jarron Gilbert and WR Juaquin Iglesias. It's painful to give up on draft picks, no doubt, but the easiest way to ruin a franchise is by magnifying one mistake by making another, making a bad selection and then keeping the guy because he's a draft pick.