The Bears have an obvious need at cornerback, and they'll likely spend at least one draft pick on the position in April.
But if the Bears are looking for a cost-effective gamble, they should consider former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin.
I covered Griffin his first four seasons in the NFL, when I worked for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. When healthy, he's a more than solid fit to play in a Cover 2 type of defense. He's certainly not a shutdown corner, but he loves to hit, and he has a knack for forcing fumbles. Not in a manner like Charles Tillman. But pairing a healthy Griffin and Tillman would give the Bears a pretty intimidating pair of starting cornerbacks.
The top free-agent cornerbacks are Cortland Finnegan and Brandon Carr. In the Bears defense, Carr would be a better fit. But, he could command a pretty sizeable contact, while Griffin could be a modest gamble. Perhaps the Bears could give him a contract that pays him like a third cornerback, with a modest signing bonus, but include incentives that will reward him if he earns a starting spot.
The Vikings released him because he was set to make $4.1 million in 2012. He was benched late in the season, and ESPN 1500 in the Twin Cities reported that he's already sold his house and mentally prepared himself to play elsewhere next season, even though the Vikings may be interested in bringing him back at a lower salary.
Griffin tore his ACL in his left knee in the NFC title game during the 2009 season, then returned for 2010. But, he tore the ACL in his right knee less than a month into that season.
He's 29, and he doesn't have a ton of interceptions. But, he's forced 14 fumbles.