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Torry Holt has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars that is worth up to $20 million.

ESPN reported over the weekend that the Jaguars were moving in and a deal was imminent. The only other team that showed known interest in Holt was Tennessee. Holt made a visit to the Titans at the end of March.

Here is our final edition of Four Down Territory for the week. We'll get back to the mailbag on Monday, so make sure you get your questions in over the weekend with two weeks until the draft. Here we go.

Q: What do you think the chances are that the Bears will select Rashad Johnson of Alabama in the second round to play strong safety and wait until later in the draft to get a receiver like Ramses Barden and let him learn under a veteran like Torry Holt? I think Johnson has the ability to be an Ed Reed type of safety who can play center field. I also see Barden having the ability to possibly develop into a Marcus Robinson type receiver. What are your thoughts?

Nick D., Orlando, Fla.

A: Johnson is an interesting guy who had a very successful college career, particularly after Nick Saban arrived at Alabama in 2007. A former walk-on, Johnson turned into one of the best defensive backs in the SEC. No one is going to be drafting him to play strong safety though. He's strictly a free safety and there are some questions as to whether or not he will be able to hold up at that spot as well, but more on that in a little bit. Johnson thrived under Saban and made 11 interceptions over the last two seasons to go with 19 passes broken up.


Welcome to Four Down Territory where we tackle issues surrounding the Bears as best we can. We'll do one more Q&A for this week on Friday. Get your questions in soon. We'll resume the Q&A on Monday and have a schedule for next week then.

Q: Will new quarterback Jay Cutler be able to earn the $100,000 workout bonus from the Bears that he reportedly had already missed with Denver?

Alex O., Toronto

A: We've received a few inquiries on this one and waited to have a firm answer to respond. Yes, Cutler is eligible to earn the $100,000 workout bonus that is a part of the contract the Bears inherited when they traded for Cutler. The contract applies to the Bears and because Cutler was acquired before the start of the club's voluntary offseason workout program, he's eligible to cash in. It doesn't matter what happened with the Broncos, where he had missed out on the mark after missing six days. The interesting thing to note is Cutler's contract calls for him to be present for 90 percent of the workouts to trigger the payment. Typically, the Bears ask their players to appear at 85 percent of workouts to collect bonuses in their contracts. Cutler will have to do better to be paid, but it's money he is eligible to earn.

We've been tied down with some other football stuff recently so we'll get to five questions in today's Four Down Territory. We'll get to another one on Wednesday so get your questions in and thanks for your patience. Let's get right to it.

Q: I have to disagree with the idea of a wide receiver in Round 2. Earl Bennett was a bust last season but given the typical trajectory of NFL receivers and the fact that they usually take two to three years to click, isn't it worth the risk to see if he develops this season? Especially given the unusual circumstance of having a playmaking and familiar quarterback now on the team? Bennett is in his best possible position to succeed and I think the Bears should realize he's got a better chance of making an impact than a rookie second rounder, a spot where the busts far outweigh the impact players. Busts can come from any position, but I think the Bears may find a safer gamble should they look for a safety (as you noted) or even a guard or defensive tackle at that spot. Seeking a veteran wide receiver to add now and a rookie in the later rounds would be just as wise, I think, and concentrate on defense in this draft.

Chris M., Pasadena, Calif.

A: I don't think you can call a player a bust after evaluating just one season, and I've certainly not said Bennett will be a bust. But his 2008 rookie season only created more questions about his future. Your concerns are valid, that there are no sure things in drafting a wide receiver in the second round. That being said, the same concerns have to be in place for a receiver selected in the third round like Bennett. I don't think there is a risk involved to selecting a receiver in the second round this season, I think the Bears would give themselves a better chance of succeeding. If they don't go after a receiver at the beginning of the draft and if Bennett does not pan out, then where is the offense? As you suggested, it takes a few years for a receiver to develop. That only ensures the offense is set back further. We'll see what happens.


A day after adding players at arguably the most important positions on the field--quarterback (there is no disputing that one) and left tackle--don't look for an acquisition spree by the Bears today.

Not if you are thinking veteran wide receiver Torry Holt, any way.

Holt visited the Tennessee Titans on Thursday and it does not look like the ex-St. Louis Ram will be coming this way.

"I don't see that,'' Holt's agent Kennard McGuire told the Sun-Times.


Busy day of football activity, and we're going to tidy up action from the day in another post here shortly with a few interesting things, so be sure to check back. Right now, let's jump into the mailbag and Four Down Territory.

Q: What did you think of the signing of Josh Bullocks? Is he more likely to start at free safety than Craig Steltz or a rookie? Is he not that highly regarded to sign an inexpensive one-year deal at age 26 or was he just caught on a bad Saints defense? If he was a quality player, would he have been a priority for New Orleans? Does this signing make it more likely the top picks will be at offensive tackle, wide receiver and defensive end, especially because (as you pointed out) the team has had success drafting defensive backs on the second day?

Joe B., Oxford, Conn.

A: We've got a lot to chew on here. My best guess right now is that Bullocks eventually finds himself in a three-man competition for the starting job with Steltz and a yet to be drafted rookie. What round the rookie comes in and how Steltz fares will obviously dictate to a degree Bullocks' chances, but right now he's got the best skill set to play the position. The Bears didn't have a free safety until he was brought on board. And, who knows, perhaps Steltz winds up in a situation where he competes with Kevin Payne for the starting gig at strong safety. Don't discount that possibility either.


If it rains like this next week, the Bears will have no chance of practicing outside at Halas Hall for the minicamp. Before we get washed away here, or buried under a pile of safety and receiver questions, let's dive into the mailbag.

Q: Now that the first wave of free agency has passed and the Bears still haven't addressed their need for a starting free safety, do you think there's a chance they might still bring back Mike Brown? Brown seems to be the best option remaining given his knowledge of the defense, and I doubt Jerry Angelo will find someone in the draft that can contribute more, at least in the immediate future.

C. Washington, Kokomo, Ind.

A: This is just one of a handful of inquiries we've had about Brown recently. You're the lucky one to have yours selected.

No, I don't see any way the Bears have a change of heart and reach out to Brown. When they made the decision to move forward and not offer him a contract, that was a clean break. It's one Angelo nearly made a year ago. Yes, Brown had value when he was on the field last season but he's a strong safety and strictly a strong safety. Remember, the coaching staff made that switch to get him closer to the line of scrimmage midway through the season. Brown isn't the answer to their strong safety needs. The second half of the season was also when Brown had trouble finishing out games. You'll recall he couldn't finish three games and then was placed on inured reserve before the season finale at Houston. The Bears were in the playoff hunt. If they felt Brown could help them in the playoffs, he would have remained active. That tells you a little something about what was at least a four-week injury, right?

The collection of displaced football professionals continues to grow.

Torry Holt wants to join the group. Soon.

The veteran St. Louis Rams wide receiver reportedly has asked to be released. The Rams owe Holt a $1.25 million roster bonus on March 17 and are believed to be looking to cut their salary cap and get younger by moving on. The problem is with Holt's contract they have not had any success finding a taker. Why trade for a guy when he's going to reach the open market where you can write your own contract?

That brings us to the possibility Holt would be a fit for the Bears. Before we go forward, we're going to estimate the chances of this marriage happening are slim. Real slim. But we'll make our case later. Holt, who turns 33 in June, led the Rams in receiving last season even as they worked to phase him out and promote exciting rookie Donnie Avery. Holt finished with 796 yards on 64 catches with three touchdowns. It snapped a streak of eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for him. To put that in perspective for a second, the Bears have had 10 1,000-yard receivers in their entire history.


We've got the vehicle gassed up, an empty notepad and plenty of questions so we're ready to depart for Indianapolis on Thursday. This is our final installment of Four Down Territory for the week. Check back often for updates from the combine. We'll get back to the mailbag starting Monday.

Q: I cannot claim this as my own possibility but I found it intriguing enough to share with you. One of the mock draft sites (Draft Tek) has engineered a hypothetical trade between the Rams and the Bears. The Bears send No. 18 (1st round) and Nate Vasher to the Rams in exchange for Torry Holt and, No. 35 (2nd round) and No. 66 (3rd round). I like Vasher even though he had a down year last year. But this trade possibility is intriguing. Yes, Holt is aging but he has a bit left in the tank and would give the Bears some much-needed help. It opens up a spot for Corey Graham opposite Charles Tillman. And, it goes along with Jerry Angelo's modus operandi of trading down for additional picks. Thoughts?

Bill S., Oneida, Ill.

A: I don't think there is any question Holt still has some game left in him. He'll turn 33 before the season begins but we're talking about a player who has missed only two games over the course of his distinguished career that could one day land him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He's not the vertical threat he once was, but he's adapted and can still be productive even if he was pushed aside somewhat by a coaching staff hellbent on developing rookie Donnie Avery.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Torry Holt category.

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