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Full day of football with the trip up to Evanston this morning for the Northwestern pro day. There were 32 players from other state schools at the workout too. More on the pro day action later. Right now, let's get into the mailbag. We'll have one more Four Down Territory on Friday--get your questions in now--and then we're going to move to an abbreviated schedule next week with minicamp. Here we go.

Q: I was just listening to the Score and they were saying Tampa was in trade talks for Jay Cutler. If Tampa can be in trade talks for Cutler, why can't the Bears be? Tampa doesn't have a quarterback and the Bears have a higher first-round pick than them. Shouldn't Jerry Angelo at least try to get in there for a quarterback of his caliber? Did he not say fixing the quarterback position was a priority? With all of Angelo's first-round busts would this not be a safe move? Cutler is not Matt Cassel, he has all the good and has shown it, he is a fan of the Bears and has the type of arm and feet you need in Chicago.

Creighton, Parts Unknown

A: I haven't found one report that the Broncos and Bucs have engaged in any recent contract talks involving Cutler. Tampa Bay, of course, was in the three-way deal that was proposed prior to free agency and included the New England Patriots. But nothing indicates Cutler trade talks have happened again. The Broncos finally got Cutler on the horn earlier this week and that didn't go over so well. It will be interesting to see if he shows up next week for the beginning of the voluntary offseason program, a pretty big step under new coach Josh McDaniels.


Plenty of football action already today, so we'll dive right into Four Down Territory.

Q: So I hear the Dallas Cowboys want Terrell Owens out of town. Either they cut him or trade him. I've heard speculation they could take as little as a third-round draft pick for him. Give me the odds of the Bears being players for his services.

James T., Charleston, Ill.

A: First, the Cowboys and Jerry Jones have to arrive at the conclusion that they're better off without T.O. than they are putting up with his antics and self-destructive behavior. Based on how Roy Williams played after Dallas paid a high ransom to get him from Detroit, that might be a tough decision to make. But Owens has become an unbelievably divisive force there, proof that problems ran much deeper than his run-ins with former wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Todd Haley. That was the vibe you used to get, that T.O. didn't get along with Haley, which was dead on. Haley exited for Arizona in 2007 and T.O. has been at odds with everyone else since. What Jones is witnessing is the window of opportunity slowly closing on his team. He's moving into a shiny new $1 billion building and nothing sells quite like winning.

Popular opinion is growing that Owens will not be back in Dallas. Peter King weighed in on the issue Monday, writing "I think everyone doing free-agent lists should add one name in pencil: Terrell Owens. I'll bet you a month's worth of lattes he'll be free in six weeks." He's not the only national writer thinking that way. In fact, there are more who consider T.O. a goner than think he'll play with a star on the side of his helmet in 2009.

Go ahead and take one veteran quarterback off the list of players Jerry Angelo can pick through.

David Carr, the No. 1 pick of the 2002 draft, has re-signed with the New York Giants, according to the New York Daily News. This reduces the short list of experienced veterans as free agency quickly approaches on Feb. 27. Another possibility also disappeared as Luke McCown re-upped with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons.

Kurt Warner has come and said if he plays next season it will be for the Arizona Cardinals. The Tennessee Titans are working to bring back Kerry Collins. Matt Cassel was already tagged by the New England Patriots.


One of these days we'll be able to complete a Four Down Territory a little earlier in the day. Until then, we'll have to accomplish what we can. Let's jump right in.

Q: I've seen published reports saying the Bears should make an offer to Oakland's franchised cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. What do you think of Kelvin Hayden as an alternative. He's local, from the same base defensive system and maybe cheaper?

Rob C., Parts Unknown

A: Now that the Raiders have taken care of finally announcing Tom Cable will be their coach for next season, or the beginning of next season any way, they can get down to the business of deciding what to do with their roster. Asomugha has made it known he doesn't want to play under the franchise tag again and is tired of the losing, but a player's wishes aren't always granted in these instances. Oakland has two players it badly wants to retain and will probably only keep one. Asomugha is the first. The second is perennial Pro Bowl punter Shane Lechler. They could place the franchise tag on him and spent significantly less than it would cost to lock down their lock down corner.

All you quarterback dreamers out there can stop.

The third time won't be the charm for the Bears when it comes to Kurt Warner. You know, the two-time league MVP and former Super Bowl MVP and nearly Super Bowl XLIII MVP.

Yeah, that Warner. The one the Bears told "no thanks" to after he left the St. Louis Rams in 2003. Yes, this is the same Warner the Bears said "no thanks" to after he left the New York Giants in 2004. Warner stopped by Halas Hall in 2005 after getting out of Gotham. It was a fit that wasn't meant to be with the organization's undying devotion to Rex Grossman at the time.

TAMPA, Fla.--Here is something to consider when it comes to two quarterbacks who will be on the open market when free agency kicks off Feb. 27: Both Byron Leftwich and Chris Simms are represented by the same agent, Tom Condon.

That means, at most, Condon is only going to be steering one player toward the Bears. Leftwich, the backup to Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, thought he was going to be drafted by the Bears No. 4 overall in 2003 before they dealt that pick to the New York Jets for the No. 13 and No. 22 picks. Simms was another quarterback from that draft class that the Bears are known to have liked, but he lasted until late in the third round.

They will be in an unimpressive crop of available quarterbacks the Bears might consider to bring in. Simms' father, CBS analyst Phil Simms, said Wednesday afternoon that he didn't see Kyle Orton being unseated. If son thinks like father, it might not look like an attractive destination for Simms, who has thrown two passes since being injured in Week 3 of the 2006 season.

TAMPA--Given the opportunity to suggest the Bears would be a good landing spot for his son Chris Simms, CBS analyst Phil Simms passed Wednesday afternoon.

Maybe it was the line he draws between being a commentator and a proud papa, but Simms was hardly excited about the possibility.

"I was told earlier today that there had been some talk [the Bears being a match for the free-agent quarterback] but I did not know that,'' Simms said. "If it's in Chicago, good. Wherever it is.''

While it's not a definite, there is a good chance the Bears will venture out into free agency and look for a quarterback with some experience to bring in. If they don't, it will be a sign of confidence in Caleb Hanie taking the next step. Simms, who the Bears had interest in last spring, and Pittsburgh backup Byron Leftwich are two candidates.

"You're asking the wrong guy," Simms said after announcing end-of-season awards for New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson. "I'm not what people say or think. When [my son] played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I couldn't have told you 10 people on the team. I know the league inside and out, but I don't get involved. I don't want to know.''

We're entering what looks to be a pretty quiet time for the Bears. If the coaching staff and scouts have not returned from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., they will Saturday (the game will be televised at 6 p.m. on NFL Network). The next step in the offseason is the thorough organizational meetings that go over everything from top to bottom. This is where the coaches, scouts, and front office collaborate to shape the plans moving forward to free agency and the draft.

Four Down Territory is going to take a little bit of a break next week while we're in Tampa covering the Super Bowl, but we're going to monitor any Bears action that is going on. You can also track information on Twitter. If you're not already signed up, you can do so to get instant updates when we make them. It's free. Often times, we'll Twitter news as we're posting to the blog, delivering it to you on your mobile phone. You can also get updates sent directly to your IM. We don't expect a rash of updates soon, but as free agency and the draft approaches, we'll be active.

So, if you're interested, check out Our handle is cst_bears.

On to Four Down Territory.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Byron Leftwich category.

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