Chicago Sun-Times

Olin Kreutz turns down more money to join Saints

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Former Bears center Olin Kreutz has signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints.

Kreutz will make close to $4 million in total, including incentives, although agent Mark Bartelstein said his client had more lucrative offers. Bartelstein said the Saints were "hampered" by it's salary cap position.

"This wasn't about the money," Bartelstein said. "There were two other teams that offered considerably more guaranteed money (than the Saints).

"People roll their eyes when a player says, 'It's not about the money.' But Olin is a different guy, and he's shown in the past it wasn't just about money. He thought this was the best place for him, at this point in his career, to win a Super Bowl."

Kreutz was excited to join the Saints because they welcomed him and they are projected to vie for the NFC title.

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"This wasn't about the money," Bartelstein said. "There were two other teams that offered considerably more guaranteed money (than the Saints)."

Yeah, like the Bears. I'm guessing that the other two teams' offers didn't top $4m either. Agent spin at it's finest.

Long time Bears going to the Saints works out well. Just ask Ditka... We still love you Kruetz. Week 2 is gonna be ugly for you though.

Have fun watching this shotgun-snapping fiasco!

This seems to happen a lot with old BEAR players. They want the team to bring the house when they are negotiating deals at the end of their careers and then go somewhere else to play for less and oftentimes with less success.

This is interesting though since the Saints are primarily a pssing team, and Olin is not a very solid pass protector, nor is he adapt at handling the "shotgun" snap....this shows more about the desperation of the Saints than it does about the Bears being "cheap"....I hope he has a solid year, just not in week 2 and the playoffs if we meet them there also.....

Sean: I still say we need a corner, who is still out there on the FA wire at this position that can play Cover 2

Wow looks like the Saints are serious about winning thre big one to bad the bears aren't. Wake up Angelo your pudding is falling into your lap.

Now Kreutz has been horrible sense the bears made it to the superbowel. Al ot of bears fand think him leaving is a bad thiong but it was way past his time. Now cut Chris Eilliams, Garza, lance Louis, Webb and omiyale and youre on the right track.

Kruetz said he didn't sign with the Bears, not because of money, but because he didn't get the right feel from the organization. Does Kruetz play this game for Jerry Angelo? Why would he care what vibe he is getting from Angelo. Shouldn't he want to comeback for his coaches, teammates and for himself? Was he getting bad vibes from his teammates? Kruetz was one of my all time favorites, but this is weird.

This happens all the time in the NFL. Olin had a great career for the Bears and us fans should look at that. Teams and players sometimes just have to move on.

You got that right! This is weird Sean. He basically takes the same money to go with the Saints? I bet we don't ever find out the whole scoop unless it's Steve Sabol 25 years from now.

It's like the opening scene to the movie JAWS with the nude chick swimming away from the beach. All we really know is the dude's date is not going to work out for him because something is going on under the water.

I still think the O-line will be fine. Kreutz might have given them a decent center for one more year. "Leadership" is a factor, but it won't block Raji, Williams or Suh.

Actually I think Sean suggested what he thought was the problem and Olin said. It was not money it was how they went about the negotiations. They gave him a final offer and a 1 hour deadline to a guy who had played for them for 13 years, that's not really what you expect in this situation. Considering Olin could not even report till yesterday, why the deadline and big hurry? Why give him attitude and put pressure on him? Unless they really didn't care if he came back. Having would be nice but losing him not a big deal, they made an offer it was good money but they way they presented it was kinda unfreindly. Ruskell knowing one of his boys is sitting out there, he sure got signed quick, it was nice they didn't give the Seahawks cast off a deadline.

I agree about the SHotgun snaps though, not sure what the Saints are thinking.

I'll tell you what I am thinking, Bryant McKinnie. Get him in and get him in shape, let him compete for a job, he has worked with Tice before and when in shape he is a top 10-15 tackle. I actually wonder if they can get him to convert to Guard, Left Guard.

Oh I get it. I'm saying i's not that simple. All Sean can do is ask them where they are coming from and report what people say. I don't doubt the accuracy of his story. But c'mon Kreutz is the definition of an ol' pro. Do you really bellieve he walked off simply because his panties were in a wad over how an offer was presented? Over "feelings"? A player who has done it all and heard it all, who has a wife and kids with deep roots in Chicago, pulls up stakes and moves to the Big Easy because of feelings? Really?

Every NFL team had only a day or two to either sign their own free agents or go to the next name on the list. The list of available free agents was, and is, a rapidly moving target. Every free agent in the NFL knew they had to make a quick call on offers. Both sides had all winter to think about it. It's hard to believe this is all about something as superficial as timing or tone.

No. I believe they either wanted him gone or he wanted out.

What if he saw the writing on the wall and decided to leave on his own terms? Was he going to be the starter this year? Probably he was, but it's obvious that the Bears need better play from the line as a unit. You do that by either having your existing guys play better. or looking for better players. Looking at the center position, I don't think Kreutz is capable of raising the level of his own play a whole lot. Do the math.

Is somebody playing a PR game? Maybe more than one somebody?

So, this is how it ends. The Bears screw up negotiations with their starting center, lose him, and sign some bum who a front office guy drafted high but didn't work out. Not only are the Bears jerks for not signing a guy who gave up money to stay with them several years ago and who the players consider their leader, but they're now worse both at center and on the line in general.

Good move, boobs. You'll be lucky to be .500 this season, and it will be a miracle if Cutler gets through it without a major injury.

Your talking about a guy who once hit another player in the head with a metal club because he felt that the player insulted him. So yes I think he can have his feelings hurt. I also think he probably thought he would retire after that and then after a couple of days he got the football itch and put out feelers and took the one he liked best. I can't see Olin just wanting out, but at his age he has questions about what happens to his body after he is done, 13 years is a long time in the NFL and he knows he is not as good as he once was. But I don't see him wanting out, and I don;t think the Bears wanted him out, I just don't think they cared if he stayed that much or left, and I think that is what he felt from them. After 13 years that probably felt like a pretty big slight to him. As for other players Spencer was bad enough to get cut by the Seahawks, and is not going ot upgrade the position, and Garza is not as good as Olin or Spencer at the Center position, they have not really shown any intrest in playign Louis there and Chris Williams is pretty bad at all the positions.

I really think for the Bears it was a whatever they brought in a stop gap to replace a aging vet who is also a stop gap. The Bears don't really have history of respecting former players or aging vets. When they are done using a player they are done with him and he can go on his merry way.

While Olin probably couldn't raise his game much he did bring a ton of intangibles to that line. Who is going to adjust the line line and make the calls now? Who is going to make sure the clueless have a clue? Spencer? Spencer couldn't do it in Seattle I doubt he does it here. Garza, maybe but Garza is a downgrade at center compared to Olin. So where is the supposed upgrade by not having him? You just yanked the core of your continuity off the line. The line where continuity is very, very important. You got a rookie RT, Webb moving to a new position, a new center and if Garza is the center then you have a guy playing guard who got benched last year, not to mention Chris Williams. You saw what moving guys around last year did right? Did it help? Does losing your line captain help when you don't even know who will replace him and your options are Garza and Spencer. Guys like Webb and Carimi had no off-season, no OTA's and now you take away the brains of the line and the guy who would have to help them the most.

I am not going to look for a smoking gun here, what happened, happened and it will not really help the line or hurt it. I don't think Olin wanted to leave, I just don't think he felt like he was wanted here anymore. He had a good run. I'll tell you one thing lots people are talking about the Saints game and how Olin is going to be on the recieving end. You all better take a look at who is flanking Olin right now, those are two of the best guards in football, on a very solid line. Granted they don't have much in terms of a left tackle, but they are pretty good at the other four spots.

**While Olin probably couldn't raise his game much he did bring a ton of intangibles to that line. Who is going to adjust the line line and make the calls now? Who is going to make sure the clueless have a clue? Spencer? Spencer couldn't do it in Seattle I doubt he does it here. Garza, maybe but Garza is a downgrade at center compared to Olin. So where is the supposed upgrade by not having him? You just yanked the core of your continuity off the line.**

This is spot on, but suggests a net loss. I don't understand how you can write the above, Creighton, and then conclude that Kreutz's departure is a wash. Sure, he was no Nick Mangold and at the end of his career. Physicially, though, he was reported to have had a great offseason and be feeling better than he had in a long time.

However, the Bears didn't replace him with someone with more experience in the Martz system and certainly not someone with the same depth of experience at the position and in reading defenses.

We're all hoping to be pleasantly surprised by this year's OL, but history and common sense seem to argue against it.

There's another issue here and it shows another major thing wrong with this team: The Forty Whiners just signed former New Orleans center Jonathan Goodwin. Goodwin made the Pro Bowl the last two seasons, last year as an alternate. He also started on one of the most complex offenses in the league.

In stark contrast, the Bears let their long time center go, then signed a castoff from Seattle, probably just because Tim Ruskell signed him when Ruskell was in Seattle. This reeks of the dying days of George Halas, when the Bears made idiotic moves because of who knew whom. People in Chicago are trying to convince me that Spencer will be OK and that the line will be fine. Sorry, I'll believe that when I see it. Far more likely is that the line will be much worse than last season, the only hope to the contrary being Gabe Carimi and good luck counting on a rookie lineman, especially this season.

Typical Bears B.S. a guy who was a consumate Chicago Bear, bled Chicago Bear blue, was the leader on the line, a team leader they allow to go hiking.Simply pathetic, no wonder some of these players act like they do when management/ownership doesn't any appreciation for a player like Kruetz.

I agree Dali. As Doug Buffone says, you guys in Chicago need to get our the pitchforks and torches, and head over to the McCaskey Castle.

Hey Wrigley:

Great comments, I could not agree more. Are you going to the Bears vs Raiders game in November and still watching the Bears at Rickey's?


[Whoops! Forgot to fill in my name in my latest comment!]


You and Dahli have been spot on about Kreutz. I think we better bookmark this thread. When the OL collapses I think we'll have a lot of fodder for the "See, I told you so" file.

My Bear fan friends out here have been asking since the schedule came out, don't know yet. Problem for me is, I'm a Raider fan too. And as much hate as I'm feeling for Bear ownership & management right now, if I go I'll probably be rooting for the Raiders while fantasizing about Kreutz pounding their heads in.

Went to most games at Ricky's last season. I'll be at the first two unless moving interferes (but it shouldn't), want to see Kreutz against his old buddies.

Thanks for the kind words. Actually, I'll be happier if I'm dead wrong. But I've been through the fantasy thing before where I pretended to not know what I know and fantasized how the Bears could win it all despite all their problems. After a decade or two of that, I've gotten rather cynical about them, and for good reason considering their lame ownership and management. So now I just look at them as they actually are based on past performance, and what I see for the offensive line is just plain putrid, though I have some hope for Carimi.

Don, thanks from me as well. It just drives me crazy when the BEARS cheap-out with a player of Kruetz ability and loyalty, it does disgust me but I will be a diehard Bears fan with the hope that the McCaskey family, Phillips and Angelo will some day see the light, this move with Kruetz has Ruskell/Angelo written all over it and it is because Kruetz did not kiss butt and play the political game with Angelo while in Chicago.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 5, 2011 12:17 PM.

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