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If you're following the blog of Richmond McGee, the logical next logical step is for the Bears to have the free-agent punter take the roster spot created by the retirement of Glenn Earl.

The veteran safety Earl, a Naperville North and Notre Dame product, informed the team he plans to retire on Tuesday, and an official announcement will likely come today. Earl's departure drops the Bears' roster to 79 players, giving them one open slot. Although cornerbacks Charles Tillman will be placed on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) on Friday, it's the active PUP list teams can use in training camp. That will not create an additional roster spot.

Instead of bringing in an additional defensive back (the Bears have eight cornerbacks not counting Tillman and six safeties without Earl), the Bears could sign McGee. He believes the Bears are going to, at least at some point in the very near future.

"Nothing is official until I sign next month,'' McGee wrote on his blog. "But they are offering me a one-year contract.''

By the time training camp comes around the Bears will have a real good idea what their emergency punter list looks like for this season.

The team brought in two punters for a workout on Tuesday during the OTA at Halas Hall.

The Bears got a look at veteran Derrick Frost, who played in 12 games last season with Green Bay, and Richmond McGee, who spent last summer on Philadelphia's roster. Previously, Frost played three seasons in Washington and one year in Cleveland. Although he was primarily a punter at Texas, McGee handled some kicking duties as well and was a member of the Longhorns' national championship team. His versatility could be a plus in camp.

"A few teams have been calling about Derrick,'' his agent Bob Lattinville said. "I think since he's a known commodity he's a guy that will get picked up now.''

Frost had his best season in 2006 for the Redskins when he averaged 42.9 yards per punt and had a net of 38.9. McGee worked out earlier this offseason for the Buffalo Bills.


The Bears have been able to find a quarterback, left tackle, left guard and strong-side linebacker with more ease than their search for a camp leg.

That hunt will continue today at Halas Hall as three punters will be in for a workout during the OTA. One of them is a familiar face--Zac Atterberry. He was the camp leg the Bears used last summer at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., and he performed well during the preseason. If familiarity is worth anything, perhaps he will have an edge over Louie Sakoda and Sean Douglas.

Atterberry averaged 41.5 yards on 10 punts during preseason and his net average of 39.5 ranked 11th in the league. The Bears trusted him enough that they brought him back on the practice squad in the week leading up to the Oct. 12 game at Atlanta because there was concern Brad Maynard would be out with an injury. Maynard turned out to be fine and Atterberry went on his way. Since, Atterberry has spent time on Washington's roster and he had a workout with Indianapolis last month.

Beating out the 13-year Maynard isn't the easiest way to make an NFL roster.

"Where I am at right now, I just need Zac in a camp,'' agent Rob Sheets said. ``Whether it's in Chicago, Indy, Washington or Tuscaloosa, I need him in an NFL camp and let the cards fall where they may. Zac's good enough to play in this league.''


Do not be surprised if the Bears make a move to bring back punter Zac Atterberry.

They have been looking for a punter to bring to training camp and Atterberry was released Thursday by the Washington Redskins. He's a name that is sure to come up in conversations at Halas Hall based on how the team felt about him last season. Atterberry won a roster spot in a tryout of sorts last spring and went to training camp where he performed well.

Special teams coordinator Dave Toub liked him enough, or trusted him enough that Atterberry was brought back to the practice squad on Oct. 7. That wasn't to see how Atterberry had been in the six-plus weeks since he had been cut at the end of preseason. The Bears were concerned an undisclosed injury might prevent Brad Maynard from playing that week at Atlanta. The veteran turned out to be fine and Atterberry was let go after four days.

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