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Long day with plenty of non-related football activity. We're happy to get this Fourth Down Territory in before the day is out.

Q: Since the Bears signed the quarterback from Carolina, Brett Basanez, do you see them releasing Rex Grossman? That would just be so awesome.

Nada, Parts Unknown

A: You have nada clue when it comes to the situation, apparently. Grossman is out of contract and will become an unrestricted free agent when the period opens Feb. 27. You cannot release a player you do not have under contract.

Why would it be awesome for Grossman to be released?

It's very apparent he did not fulfill the expectations that the organization had for him, or those that he probably had for himself. Grossman has not been a pariah like Cade McNown was. Grossman hasn't been a former No. 4 overall pick busted twice in five weeks for booze incidents that he was eventually cleared of in court. Grossman didn't get it done. I'm not a Grossman backer, Grossman supporter or Grossman apologist, and you can find those types. I didn't care that he got booed at Soldier Field by hometown fans, who pay for tickets and can do as they please. But I can't understand how he is Public Enemy No. 1 for so many people. Fans are disappointed, understandably, by the Bears' long struggle to right the position. Grossman is just one guy who didn't get it done. It strikes me that he's somehow become the target for the failings of an organization. Grossman didn't draft himself. He didn't sign Jonathan Quinn. He didn't draft McNown. He sure as heck didn't trade for another quarterback from Indiana in Rick Mirer. But people want to see him fall flat on his face, preferably in a puddle of mud. Seems like the blame is being misplaced here. Grossman should get credit for handling himself like a pro during six seasons with the organization. Just remember, he didn't tell booing fans to stay at home and serenade their television set. Who knows if it will work out for him elsewhere. We'll see.

After raising ticket prices in at least some manner for eight straight years, the Bears will freeze their prices for 2009.

In light of a struggling economy, the club decided that it was the best strategy even as occupants of the smallest stadium in the 32-team league. The Bears average ticket price was eighth in the league last season.

``Frankly, it's really no more complicated than taking a look at the very challenging economic environment that every fan, every person in America is facing,'' team president Ted Phillips said. ``It's not not just a down economic year, it's an unprecedented situation that has huge impact on every citizen and we felt for that reason it was the right thing to do.''

TAMPA, Fla.--NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said at his state of the league address Friday that roughly three-quarters of the league will not raise ticket prices for 2009.

That leaves about eight teams that are increasing prices in a weakened economy. You're going to have to wait another week or two, at the most, to learn which side of the fence the Bears are going to be on.

"Everything has not been 100 percent formalized,'' team spokesman Scott Hagel said. ``We're going through budgeting right now and ticket prices are part of it.''

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