Last offseason, Bears free-agent safety Danieal turned down the Bears’ offer of a contract extension worth $6 million over three years. It seems the team hasn’t budged on his perceived value since then.
That said, it is likely that once the new CBA is in place Manning will receive a better offer and will leave the Bears. That result would leave the team with two options: start Major Wright or go out and sign a veteran free agent.
Wright, the Bears’ 2010 third-round draft pick, shows promise but doesn’t seem prepared to fill Manning’s void just yet.
Manning is known more for his kick returns but he actually had a pretty good season at safety last year.
Forget about moving Charles Tillman to safety. That idea has been discussed for some time but with Peanut being the Bears’ only proven corner, he isn’t moving anywhere.
Meanwhile, it is uncertain what rules will be in place for free agents under a new collective bargaining agreement. Last year, the NFL played under rules requiring six seasons of playing tenure to qualify as unrestricted.
Bear in mind that prior to 2010, players needed only four years of service to qualify as unrestricted. So, the list of potential safety options for the Bears could grow if the new agreement restores that rule.
I don’t expect the Bears to go after a player like Darren Sharper, who will want more money. They will look for an inexpensive free agent if they go that route; perhaps a player like Deon Grant, for example.
-Article by Bob Warja, Featured Columnist, Bleacher Report, Check out Bob’s other Bears’ articles here.