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Free agency will come upon the NFL and the Chicago Bears at some point (we think) and at that point the Bears will need to address not only the expired contracts on their current roster but also their pressing positional needs. The offseason of 2009 brought us the franchise quarterback. The offseason of 2010 brought us one of the most dynamic defensive players in the sport. What will the offseason of 2011 bring?
On the flipside we’ll take a look
at three positions of possible target.
I started my obsessions with Sidney Rice when he was playing for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina and sat in awe of him as he made Brett Favre look young again in Minnesota. His ability to navigate through traffic and get up in the air for a jump ball is a perfect compliment for Cutler’s style and it wouldn’t surprise me if they became the most production quarterback-receiver combination in the league. Other options of interest: San Diego’s Malcolm Floyd has the size, Terrell Owens has at least one year left in the tank and the Jets will not be able to keep both Santonio and Braylon. I still wonder if a low-level draft pick could reuinte Brandon Marshall with Cutler or coax AJ Smith to finally let Vincent Jackson leave town.
The drafting of Gabe Carimi seems to mean the Bears have settled their starting tackles, with J’Marcus Webb slotting over on the left side. (They are not going to find a good left tackle on the market if that’s not the case.) The decision the Bears have to make is on Chris Williams. Will the former first-round selection start at left guard or will he be dropped from the starting 11 and become the first tackle off the bench? If the latter’s the case, the Bears may be looking to add a Ruben Brown-style presence to the middle of the offensive line. (Would a player like Matt Light oblige a move inside?)
I found it interesting that the Bears only selected one DB, a safety, in April’s draft. It would lead me to believe the team is comfortable with corner position heading into the 2011 season. I wonder if the selection of Chris Conte in the third round makes them feel comfortable at the saftey position as well. When free agency opens, a dozen teams will be clamoring for Namdi Asomugha and the Bears will not be one of them. But will they be intrigued by the addition of a player like Antonio Cromartie if the price is right?
Questions for the fans: What will the Bears target in free agency? What should the Bears target in free agency?