Chicago Sun-Times

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With his flowing dreadlocks, from a distance he looked like Devin Hester walking into the dining hall at Olivet Nazarene University Thursday morning.

It wasn't the holdout wide receiver but another pass catcher.

Ryan Grice-Mullen is here for a free-agent workout today. The Hawaii wide receiver went undrafted in April and was signed by the Houston Texans. He was released June 13 and never participated in OTA's because of a leg injury. The Bears can check out to see if he is healthy now.

No word yet on whether wide receiver Mark Bradley will be ready to go when the Bears hit the practice fields for the first time Wednesday.

Bradley missed the bulk of the offseason program after tweaking his right knee in voluntary workouts leading to arthroscopic surgery in May.

At the time, the club announced he was questionable for the start of training camp. For his part, Bradley vowed he would be ready when things kicked off. It's fair to say it is important for Bradley to be involved early. He was essentially handed a starting job after Bernard Berrian set sail for Minnesota in free agency and Muhsin Muhammad was released. But after making just six receptions last season, and really being only marginally involved because of injuries since his rookie season in 2005, Bradley doesn't have much room for error.

Bears sign RB Jones

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Training camp convenes a week from today at Olivet Nazarene University and it will be good to see the fine people of Bourbonnais, Ill., again soon.

The Inside the Bears staff is going to swing back into action soon and we’ll have a few reports between now and then starting with news that the Bears have agreed with running back Kevin Jones on a $605,000, one-year contract.

Five weeks until the Bears report to training camp in Bourbonnais, Ill., the team feels good about its running back situation.

Good enough that you can forget about the possibility of the club pursuing any free agents like Shaun Alexander, Kevin Jones, Ron Dayne or anyone else. That’s what coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday after the club wrapped up its offseason program at Halas Hall minus linebacker Brian Urlacher, who was not in attendance.

Wrapping it up before the weekend ...

Read through a few e-mails wondering about the Bears’ chances of finding wide receiver help in light of Mark Bradley’s shaky situation after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier this month. It was suggested that perhaps the Bears could find some help in the form of some post-June 1 cuts.

The post-June 1 cuts that used to come from teams seeking some salary-cap relief are obsolete, and really it’s been just a rumor not a reality that you could find help there the past couple years. Clubs had done a better job of managing their finances and a lot of the burdensome salaries were unloaded in March before hefty roster bonuses were due.

After Ron Turner got everyone back on track for the quarterback derby between Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton, the Bears offensive coordinator covered topics that went beyond new wide receiver Brandon Lloyd.

The Q&A on a teleconference this afternoon:

Q: Thoughts on Brandon?

A: “I think Brandon’s a playmaker. Like he said, I’ve known him since he was 17 years old, recruited him out of high school, was with him three years at Illinois. He was very productive down there, so I’ve got a good feel for what he can do. [Receivers coach] Darryl Drake and I went back and looked at all his film as we do any available free agent, looked at his game film from the last couple years and feel he can still play and that hopefully he can come in and be a good fit with the receivers that we have here right now, he can fit in well with them and we’re looking forward to that competition.”

GREEN BAY, Wis.—In an NFL career that spanned 19 seasons, Dave Krieg never got to do what he always wanted to—play for the Green Bay Packers.

And if he couldn’t do that, he’d have liked to have joined the Bears before 1996 when he was in the twilight of his career at 37. Spotted Sunday night at Lambeau Field, Krieg said he’s well aware of the Bears’ incessant issues at the position. He’s on the list of 21 quarterbacks to start for the franchise during the ironman streak of the Packers Brett Favre, who he was waiting to visit with in the locker room following the game.

Krieg was raised in Wausau, Wis., and went to now defunct Milton College, not far from Janesville, Wis., just north of Rockford, Ill. The three-time Pro Bowler still ranks among the most prolific passers in league history with 38,147 yards. He made 12 starts in ’96 and compiled a passer rating of 76.3. Of the club’s regular starters since only Erik Kramer (1998), Shane Matthews (1999) and Jim Miller (2002) fared better.

Benson by the numbers

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The Sun-Times reported that Cedric Benson underwent successful surgery on his fractured left leg Thursday. The operation was performed by team physicians Armen Kelikian and Mark Bowen.

The injury comes at a bad time for Benson, who finished the season with 674 rushing yards. Had he gained 27 more yards—or less than three extra yards per game this season—he would have triggered a conditional roster bonus in his contract in the amount of $1.73 million. It’s lost money now for the running back.

League sources indicate that no roster move is imminent for the Bears. Word is the Bears are saying they are not going to take any action this week.

It could be that the organization wants to wait and compile more medical information in regards to Cedric Benson's left ankle. The Bears also might want to bring in a few candidates for tryouts before charting a course.

With an update on the condition of running back Cedric Benson possible later on today, it’s not too early to start considering options to replace him.

Benson’s left ankle was rolled badly in the second quarter of the win over Denver, and he told the Sun-Times following the game that he was to have it re-evaluated downtown this morning. Benson is expected to miss the remainder of the season. A knee sprain sidelined the former No. 4 overall pick for six games in 2005, and then the time he was on the shelf during training camp in 2006 with a shoulder injury cost him any chance of unseating Thomas Jones.

It will be interesting to see how the Bears proceed if and when the determination is made that Benson will be placed on injured reserve. By moving Adrian Peterson into the starting position, it takes a key performer from the special teams unit, an area Garrett Wolfe has been pitching in on more and more lately.

No word yet on backup QB

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Brian Griese and Kyle Orton are both on the field warming up here more than two hours before kickoff.

The duo usually practices the lost art of drop kicking and that is the case again. Griese is usually a little more accurate, but he's yet to pull a Doug Flutie during a game.

Check back in a while for the inactive list when we'll find out who is backing up Rex Grossman.

Berrian signs with Rosenhaus

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Wide receiver Bernard Berrian has officially signed with high-profile agent Drew Rosenhaus, becoming the fifth Bear since 2004 to switch to the Miami-based agent while on the team. This news, according to NFLPA documents.

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