If little happens between now and the 2010 draft, the Bears could find that defensive end is more significant to their plans than wide receiver is in this draft.
That is because starter Adewale Ogunleye, Mark Anderson and Israel Idonije are all coming out of contract. Now, Anderson will not be a free agent unless the NFL and the players association can work out an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. In an uncapped year, which is what the sides are on track for right now, players do not become unrestricted free agents until they have six years of service in. That will be one motivating factor for the players to reach an agreement on some type of extension. In Anderson's case, that means the Bears would control his rights in an uncapped year.
Idonije is a role player right now who has never been more than a spot starter. He's been moved back to end and that should make him better on special teams again. Ogunleye will be 32. The bottom line is the Bears will have all the cap space needed, and then some, to address their own players if they choose to do so. But it's worth wondering if the contract situation will play a factor in decisions made this weekend with the draft.