Chicago Sun-Times

Bears give RB Kahlil Bell minimum one-year tender

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Bears coach Lovie Smith has spoken very highly of running back Kahlil Bell.

But on Monday, the Bears tendered the minimum qualifying offer to Bell, a restricted free agent, at a cost of $1.26 million. For about $700,000 more, the Bears could have placed a second-rounder tender on Bell. That way, if another club signed Bell, they'd have to concede a second-round pick.

Would another team do that for Bell? Most likely not. But, as it stands, the Bears would get nothing if another team signs Bell now. It appears the Bears want to let other teams set the market for Bell, since they haven't made any headway toward a longer term deal with him.

But, the $1.26 million tender does allow the Bears to match any offer from another club.

The highest tender for a restricted free requires a first-round compensation worth $2.74 million.

So what of Marion Barber's future? He's due a $1.9 million base salary next season. But, he doesn't have any roster bonuses due or anything, so the Bears can cut him at any point before the regular season opener. At this juncture, he seems likely to be released, which would cost the Bears about $250,000 in dead money.

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Bell should absolutely be the backup to Forte.
If they can just them some......blocking......same old story.

We are still stuck in the same old story. We have similar backs as our primary and backup. Barber at least brings a different style, and a toughness to the table that Forte and Bell don't have.

We had a nice combo of Benson and Jones (from a style standpoint, regardless of how it worked out), but since then, we have struggled to find a complementary back for our primary. Last season was the first time it actually worked out, but Barber is probably not a long term answer.

If Bell is the primary backup, who do we go to on 4th and 1? Neither Forte or Bell can get us the tough yard when we need it. We need that physical presence also to wear on defenses if we have a late lead. Barber 5 years ago maybe, but we will have to upgrade going forward. And that's assuming Forte (without a long term deal) doesn't magically become a hard-nosed runner this season. I can't see him subjecting himself to more punishment without the security of a long term contract.

Good idea to secure Bell, but at the low tender, it really does nothing for us other than provide a little security if Forte holds out.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on March 12, 2012 2:59 PM.

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