Chicago Bears 2011 Free Agency Rumors & Targets
Now that the NFL Lockout is officially over it’s time for the rumors to start swirling about who the Chicago Bears intend to sign and/or target. As more reports, rumors, and potential targets become available, we’ll update this post. Stay tuned!
UPDATED: Sunday July 31st, 3:40 PM EST
Bears Have Officially Signed the following…
WR Roy Williams (DAL), WR Sam Hurd (DAL), C Chris Spencer (SEA), RB Marion Barber (DAL), TE Matt Spaeth (TE), DE Vernon Gholston (NYJ), DT Amobi Okoye (HOU), P Adam Podlesh (JAX)
A report from ESPN Chicago has the Bears displaying interest in Jets WR Brad Smith.
UPDATED: SIGNED BY BILLS
The Chicago Bears won’t be major players in free agency when it comes to the top-tier receivers on the market, but sources say the team has a legitimate interest in New York Jets Receiver Brad Smith
A fourth-round pick in 2006 and former quarterback at Missouri, Smith caught just four passes last season for 44 yards with no touchdowns, and rushed for 299 yards on 38 attempts. Those numbers might not immediately resonate, but it’s likely the Bears are drawn to Smith’s 6-foot-2, 212-pound frame, versatility and the fact he represents an explosive value option who could take some of the attention off playmakers such as Devin Hester and Matt Forte
Bears S Chris Harris appeared on the Waddle & Silvy Show pitching CHI to Panthers WR Steve Smith
UPDATED: Not happening, Bears have acquired Roy Williams as main WR pick-up.
In a conversation on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on WMVP-AM 1000 in Chicago, the Bears safety said he’s sold the city to Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith as a landing spot.
It’s been widely speculated the Panthers will look to trade Smith, 32, when the lockout ends and provide themselves with something to aid in the rebuilding process.
Plaxico Burress has been in the media praising the Bears, Lists them as Top 3 Team
UPDATED: Signed with Jets
Burress, who hasn’t played since August 2008, served nearly two years for carrying an unlicensed gun after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh in a New York nightclub.
“Oh without question, without a doubt (the Bears are among his top three choices),” Burress said on “The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show” on ESPN 1000. “My decision making is going to come down to what I said, playing with an elite quarterback, playing with a running game, playing with a great tight end, and Greg Olsen is already that guy, in my estimation he’ll be a Pro Bowler this season.
Devin Hester Wants the Bears to go after Redskins WR Santana Moss. Bear fans agree.
UPDATED: RE-SIGNED WITH REDSKINS
Now, as the Bears approach the 2011 season, there’s another accomplished receiver Hester would like to join forces with: Santana Moss.
“Anybody that can come in and help out the team, I’m down for it, and a guy like (Moss) can come in and really help out a lot,” Hester said of his fellow Miami Hurricane. “I’m hoping we can get him.”
Moss, 32, is on the Bears’ radar, and he is viewed as productive player and positive locker room influence. He had a career-high 93 catches for 1,115 yards and six touchdowns with Washington last season and has four 1000-yard seasons in 10 years.
Chicago Bears Huddle Lists Carl Nicks as the Bears #1 Free Agent Prospect
Carl Nicks (New Orleans). Nicks is an interesting prospect. One of the top guards in the league, one would think the Saints wouldn’t be interested in letting him go. But they may not be able to afford to keep him in New Orleans.
Saints’ Jahari Evans is currently the league’s highest paid guard, and Jermon Bushrod is their top left tackle (he’s also a free agent). The Saints have some important decisions to make and some team is going to wind up with a great offensive lineman thanks to it…
ESPN Chicago Reported many potential targets for the Bears in Free Agency
UPDATED: Signed with Rams
Mike Sims-Walker, Jaguars: Sims-Walker is somewhat of an enigma considering his size (6-foot-2, 214 pounds), deceptive speed and smooth route-running ability. Injuries and life outside of football (let’s be clear that he doesn’t have off-the-field issues) have kept Sims-Walker from reaching his full potential. The Bears may be able to acquire him relatively cheaply.
Santonio Holmes, N.Y. Jets: At 27, Homes is in his prime. But surely, Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum will do everything he can to retain Holmes’ services, which means the Bears might also have a shot at players such as Edwards and Smith. Holmes likely will be highly coveted
UPDATE: RESIGNED WITH JETS
James Anderson, Carolina: Coming off a breakout season (130 tackles, 3.5 sacks, five pass breakups), Anderson, 27, fits Chicago’s system. He’s indicated he’d like to re-sign with the Panthers quickly, but a lucrative contract could lure him away.
UPDATED: RESIGNED WITH PANTHERS
Harvey Dahl, Falcons: Dahl flashes the type of nastiness coveted by Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice. Because the Falcons have to find a way to re-sign three offensive linemen, Dahl — who represents an upgrade — might be in play for the Bears.
Da Bears Blog wants to target Vikings WR Sidney Rice
UPDATE: SIGNED WITH SEAHAWKS
The Bears need a star on the outside. A star to be feared. And they need a player who is capable of out-leaping a quality corner and bringing in a pass the average receiver would let hit the ground (or worse be intercepted).
Rice is that player and he earned his stripes in this league hauling in errant tosses from the worst culprit of “just fling it up in the air” the league has ever seen.
He will not only give the Bears options on the outside, create horrible mismatches for opposing defensive coordinators and become the best talent the Bears have ever fielded at the position but his impact on Cutler will be visible immediately.
Watch the quarterback’s confidence soar as a few of those passes pulled out of the air by corners end up as touchdowns.
Bears Pursuing Jaguars LB Justin Durant
According to a source, the Bears already have reached out about unrestricted free agent Justin Durant from the Jaguars and the signing of Durant “could happen.” The Bears are looking for another option alongsideBrian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, with Nick Roach an unrestricted free agent set to test the market and Pisa Tinoisamoa, also a free agent, coming off major knee surgery. Tinoisamoa would be limited in training camp if re-signed by the Bears.
The 6-foot-1-inch, 240-pound Durant started 10 games last season with the Jaguars and had 55 tackles.
Complete List of Undrafted Free Agents the Bears have Signed
Quarterback — Trevor Vittatoe (UTEP)
Centers — J.C. Brignone (Mississippi State) and Alex Linnenkohl (Oregon State)
Offensive Guard — Ricky Henry (Nebraska)
Offensive Tackle — Josh Davis (Georgia)
Running back — Robert Hughes (Notre Dame)
Wide receivers — Travis Cobb (Arizona), Kris Adams (UTEP), Dane Sanzenbacker (Ohio State) and Jimmy Young (TCU)
Tight ends — Kyle Adams (Purdue) and Andre Smith (Virginia Tech).
Defensive Tackles — Corbin Bryant (Northwestern), Jordan Miller (Southern) and Sean Murnane (Central Michigan)
Defensive End — Mario Addison (Troy)
Linebackers — Tanner Antle (Tulsa), Tressor Baptiste (Texas A&M), Dom DeCicco (Pittsburgh) and Deron Minor (McNeese State)
Cornerbacks — Antareis Bryan (Baylor), Mike Holmes (Syracuse) and Ryan Jones (Northwest Missouri State)
Safeties — Winston Venable (Boise State) and Anthony Walters (Delaware)
Punter — Spencer Lanning (South Carolina)
Tribune Reports Bears Interested in Pass Rusher Jason Babin
Updated: Signed with Eagles
Now, the Bears could be poised to make a move for another pass rusher. According to a source, the Bears are expected to be in the running for the services of veteran free agent Jason Babin. The former first round draft pick of the Houston Texans in 2004 broke out last season with the Tennessee Titans when he had 12 ½ sacks and two forced fumbles.
The market for Babin, 6-3, 260 pounds, will be interesting. He’s coming off a stellar season, but prior to that he had only 17 ½ sacks for his career and hadn’t exactly lived up to his draft status despite a tour around the league. He spent 2007 and part of 2008 in Seattle where Tim Ruskell was the general manager.
Bears in Running for Pittsburgh G Willie Colon
Update: Resigned with Pittsbugh
Bears showing interest in former Dallas WR Roy Williams
Updated: SIGNED to Chicago
Chicago Bears fans are familiar with Kelvin Hayden: The veteran cornerback picked off a Rex Grossman pass in Super Bowl XLI and returned it 56 yards for a game-changing touchdown.
Yes, he took it to the house. Now, could Hayden be headed home? The Indianapolis Colts released the former Hubbard and Illinois standout, meaning the 28-year-old Hayden is on the open market. A handful of teams already have expressed interest.
Don’t be surprised if the Bears join the mix. Before Hayden signed a five-year, $43 million deal with the Colts in February of 2009, a source confirmed he was the top free-agent target on the Bears’ wish list. The Colts and Bears run virtually the same defensive scheme, so it was a natural fit.
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