Chicago Sun-Times

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The Bears made it official today by signing cornerback DeAngelo Smith to the practice squad a week after he was released.

They cut defensive end Joe Clermond to make room for him. The Bears are now carrying two cornerbacks on the practice squad in Smith and Woodny Turenne.


Bears Hall of Famer George McAfee has passed away at the age of 90.

McAfee played eight seasons with the Bears after being a star at Duke. He was a member of the 1940 championship team that defeated the Washington Redskins 73-0. That was the first of three title-winning teams he played for during a career that was interrupted while he served the country in World War II.

"George McAfee helped establish the proud tradition of the Chicago Bears. His versatility led to his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as he played offense, defense and special teams on three championship teams (1940, 1941 and 1946)," the Bears said in a statement.

"George also served his country in the Navy during WWII. We are proud to have him as an integral part of our history and are saddened by his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."


Cedric Benson, freshly minted with a $7 million, two-year contract that will make him the starting running back for the Cincinnati Bengals, called himself ``fully rejuvenated'' Wednesday morning appearing on Waddle & Silvy on ESPN AM-1000.

Benson told hosts Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman that he is looking forward to facing the Bears in the regular season in 2009. He didn't have any regrets on his time with the Bears, which was cut short in June after his second drinking-related incident in Texas in a five-week span. Eventually, Benson was cleared of charges stemming from his boating and driving arrests but not before the Bears had pulled the plug on the fourth overall pick of the 2005 draft and not after the Bears had dropped $13.8 million on Benson.

Kevin Jones listed the Buffalo Bills as one of the teams interested in him on Saturday and that interest has materialized into a visit. reports that Jones will visit the team at its Orchard Park, N.Y., headquarters on Wednesday.

The Bears have made a contract offer to Jones with hopes of bringing him back to share the workload with Matt Forte and Garrett Wolfe. The Bills could potentially offer a situation with more play time. Marshawn Lynch finds himself in legal trouble for the second consecutive offseason and Fred Jackson is the only other back in place. Buffalo had tried to lure Fred Taylor before he signed in New England.

The assistants have changed but the policy remains the same.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not let assistant coaches out of their contracts to take jobs elsewhere, even if they involve promotions.

The Bears found out in 2004 when Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo tried to land Rod Marinelli, then the defensive line coach and assistant head coach with the Bucs, as defensive coordinator. Tampa wouldn't allow him to leave. Marinelli found out contracts were more binding than family ties when he became the head coach in Detroit and tried to hire Bucs linebackers coach Joe Barry, his son-in-law, to be his defensive coordinator. Barry couldn't leave until his contract was up the next year.

The Bears finally have Marinelli, although he's the line coach and assistant head coach, Barry has returned to the Bucs after the whole thing blew up in Detroit, and Bucs quarterbacks coach Greg Olson is the latest one feeling the shackles. Olson, who worked as the Bears quarterbacks coach in 2003, has been denied opportunities to leave for promotions with at least two teams, an NFL source said.

Mike Singletary's Hall of Fame roots are in Chicago with the Bears and that is where the story first broke about the new 49ers coach dropping his pants at halftime in the locker room last Sunday.

San Francisco was trailing Seattle 20-3 after two quarters at Candlestick Park en route to a 34-13 loss in Singletary's debut as the head coach after taking over for the ousted Mike Nolan.

Singletary sent tight end Vernon Davis to the dressing room during the third quarter after he came to the sideline following a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. That sideline exchange as well as Singletary's pointed remarks following the game drew national attention. But it wasn't until Sun-Times sportswriters Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley reported Wednesday morning on WSCR-670 AM that Singletary had dropped his pants during a halftime speech to the team that perhaps the most embarrassing incident became public.

The 49ers acknowledged Thursday that indeed happened and Singletary discussed it earlier today with Singletary's former teammate Dan Hampton and Laurence Holmes on 670 AM. Listen for yourself and you'll see it's clear Singletary wasn't planning on his motivational wardrobe move seeing the light of day, so to speak.

"You know everything that happened during the game, after the game, whatever, that's pretty much me,'' Singletary said. ``That's kind of who I am."

The football team has suggested the move was to emphasize that the 49ers were being spanked by the Seahawks, but as Mulligan relayed on the airwaves that is not how the scene went down.

A popular pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, the San Diego Chargers have stumbled through the first two months of the season, most recently losing a shootout to New Orleans on Sunday in London, the end of a tough trip that began with a loss at Buffalo.

The Bolts are trying to do get things corrected before its too late and to that end they fired defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell today and promoted Ron Rivera to the position. Rivera has served as the Chargers' inside linebackers coach since he was run off from the Bears after the loss in Super Bowl XLI.

Watching replays of fullback Jason McKie being stacked up in the backfield, you couldn't help but wonder if the play would have been a success with ex-Bears tight end John Gilmore on the field.

That's because rookie tight end Kellen Davis whiffed on his block of Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis on fourth-and-one from the 50-yard line Sunday. Thomas Davis came across his face and was in the backfield almost instantly as Kellen Davis was slow reacting out of his stance.

That's what the veteran Gilmore was best known for when he was here, blocking. It's what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought him on board for, too. The difference in Gilmore wearing a Bucs uniform Sunday at Soldier Field and a Bears uniform came down to a few hundred thousand dollars.

Barton claimed by Dolphins

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Kirk Barton will not be returning to the Bears.

The rookie seventh-round pick, who was waived Wednesday to make room for veteran Fred Miller, was claimed off waivers this afternoon by the Miami Dolphins. He will join the Dolphins' 53-man roster.

Barton, a four-year starter at Ohio State, was the No. 3 tackle almost from the start of training camp with top pick Chris Williams being injured, and he played extensively in preseason giving the Dolphins and every other team plenty of tape to scout.

Two days after the Carolina Panthers ganged up on San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson and limited him to 97 yards on 21 rushes, strong safety Chris Harris was asked if the gameplan for this week's meeting in Carolina will be for the Panthers to shut down the Bears' running game.

INDIANAPOLIS--Nearly three months after the Bears showed the door to Cedric Benson following his second booze-related arrest in five weeks, the running back has sparked some interest. How serious the interest is remains to be seen.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Benson has been there recently for a workout although no contract offer was extended to the No. 4 pick from the 2005 draft.

Hass headed to Gotham

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Wide receiver Mike Hass will have a tryout with the New York Giants on Friday.

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