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Busy day of football with the pre-draft media session at Halas Hall this afternoon. Plenty of good information came out of the 45 minutes with general manager Jerry Angelo and college scouting director Greg Gabriel and we'll be getting to more of it soon. First, we'll get to Four Down Territory and at the same time touch on some of the issues covered earlier today. Here we go.

Q: If the Bears don't take a wide receiver in the second round, or maybe even if they do, who are some free-agent options that would fit their scheme? I think Plaxico Burress is a longshot as he might not even be allowed to play next year. Also, I don't see Jerry Angelo bringing in another rotten apple.
Tom N, Wisconsin

A: Angelo ruled out Burress as an option for the Bears, even if he manages to stay out of jail in New York for carrying an unlicensed weapon.

"I know New York has pretty strict laws up there and what he did is looked at pretty seriously,'' Angelo said earlier today. "So I can't really answer that right now in terms of how we view him but I am not looking at him as an option.''

So, no bad apple even if Burress doesn't do time in the Big Apple. Who are some other options? Well, it's slim pickings out there. Angelo did acknowledge that the Bears could begin considering some players from the open market after the draft. They're not going to make a move at this point until they know how their roster is going to look come Monday. Keep in mind, no stars are going to be found now. You're probably not going to come up with a starter either. Not anyone you would want to project as a starter from the get go, any way. But here we'll take a look at five possibilities if the Bears decide to venture into free agency for some help at a position that is in definite need of some more depth four days from the start of the draft.

Drew Bennett: Complete bust for the St. Louis Rams after signing a $30 million contract. He missed last season with a broken bone in his foot. Bennett is interesting because he is 6-5, 198 pounds. He projects as a big, possession receiver. The Bears might already have that in tight end Greg Olsen, but Bennett might be worth considering.

D.J. Hackett: He's got good size at 6-2, 208 pounds, and long arms and could be an interesting option after spending one season in Carolina.

Darrell Jackson: Maybe the one productive Florida wide receiver in the last 10 years, Jackson hasn't been quite as productive since leaving Seattle after the 2006 season. He has experience with Jay Cutler having played 12 games in Denver last season catching 12 balls for 190 yards.

Ashley Lelie: The best vertical threat of the bunch. Lelie could be useful if he was in a specific role. He's been durable but hasn't been real productive since forcing his way out of Denver after 2005. He's made three stops since, most recently in Oakland.

Justin McCareins (pictured):
Decent possession receiver would welcome the opportunity to play for his hometown team. The Naperville and Northern Illinois product caught 40 balls for Tennessee last season and would be an option as an X receiver.


When the Bears finally wrapped up a contract for Devin Hester at the start of training camp last summer, it finished a whirlwind spending spree for general manager Jerry Angelo. Hester was the 10th Bears player he had re-signed or extended in less than six months, a shopping adventure that ran a total of $185.39 million with roughly $59.2 million guaranteed.

Based on the 9-7 season that followed, it wasn't the best money the club ever spent. But the franchise's core group of players remains in tact, and the hope is they'll rebound to playoff form moving forward. When you factor in the deals given to cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher the summer before, the total figure for 12 contracts approaches $250 million or so. Of course, not all of that money will be earned, it's the nature of NFL contracts.

But one of the real themes moving forward in 2009 is that the club is expecting more, particularly from some of the players it invested in. That will serve as a backdrop to our first question of the week in Four Down Territory. We'll knock one out every day this week through Friday. If you have any questions, shoot them in and we'll do our best to get to as many as we can.

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