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Checking in with the Bears Free Agents
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WindyCity


Joined: 26 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:46 pm    Post subject: Checking in with the Bears Free Agents Reply with quote

Checking in with the Bears Up Coming Free Agents

The Bears have a number of players going into contract years and some tough decisions will have to be made about who stays and who may be allowed to leave. There are limited resources to go around and this assessment is based on what has happened so far this season.

I have also tried to provide a comparable contract from free agency last season. The years and total dollar amount may vary, but the contract should be somewhere in this price range.

Week 2 Priority List

1. QB Jay Cutler [Tony Romo: 6 years 108 million]

I am not ready to hand Cutler 100 million just yet, but he has shown us a number of things that we all wanted before the season. He has shown a better attitude and looks like he is taking a more positive and active leadership role. He has made plays and won games with a couple of 4th quarter comebacks and QB ratings in the high 90s. He has also responded from mistakes. In the past we have seen Cutler fall apart and 1 interception turns into 3-4 and a loss, and this season has been different to this point. I do not think Cutler is a 20 million dollar a year QB, but then again neither is Flacco, and I think his inconsistencies make him more of a Tony Romo 17 million a season guy.

2. OG Matt Slauson [Donald Thomas: 4 years 14 million]

This may surprise people, but if you want to talk about the best value for the Bears in free agency this year it is probably Matt Slauson. Slauson has been a revelation at LG with solid pass protection, physical run blocking, and an attitude that fits with the new group. There is a ton of value in keeping the line together and growing, and Slauson is earning new money. Thomas and Slauson are both solid, unspectacular starting OGs in the league.

3. DE Cory Wootton [Carlos Dunlap: 6 years 40 million]

I believe that the Bears need to move on after the season from Julius Peppers who is declining and makes 17 million next season, money that could be better spent on younger players. If Peppers goes and with McClellin not showing he can start the Bears need to keep a young DE with emmerging production and a ton of physical ability. Wootton is a 3 down DE who is good against the run and can rush the passer and you do not let those guys leave before they turn 30. Wootton and Dunlap are both high upside, 3 down DEs that are entering their prime. Health concerns may keep me from giving Wootton 6 years but 6-7 million seems like a fair salary.

4. CB Charles Tillman [Ed Reed: 3 years 15 million]

This spot does not mean that he is going to be the 4th highest paid player on the list, but he is a huge priority for the Bears to bring back. Tillman is still playing at a high level and he is the heart beat of the defense and his big plays secure games for the Bears. The Bears may have to let a CB go, while they develop younger players, and Tillman offers more ability to cover #1 WRs while a young guy develops. Reed and Tillman are both aging veterans who can still play, but age reduces the number.

5. DT Henry Melton [Desond Bryant: 5 year 34 million]

This is not an indictment of Melton's ability, but more of his play to this point in the season. His value for the Bears is clear, but that is based on past production, not what is happening right now. Right now Melton is being out played by much cheaper options in Paea, who has been dominant, and Collins who has looked much better than last season. If Melton wants big money he needs to be a big impact on the games. Melton deserves more than Bryant, but his market is not in the Geno Atkins range in my opinion. Before people go ballistic I expect Melton will climb every week as he improves.

6. CB Tim Jennings [Dunta Robinson: 3 years 15 million]

Jennings is a high priority for the Bears because he continues to get better and make plays. Jennings is a great complimentary CB and if the Bears can sign him for a reasonable contract they should bring him back. I worry that Jennings may be the victim of the big contracts that are going to be handed out ahead of him. Robinson and Jennings are both #2 CBs with limitations, but they deserve starter money and in this market that is 5 million a season.

7. S Major Wright [Morgan Burnett: 5 years 26 million]

Major Wright has his weaknesses and he has some injury issues, but the truth remains when he and Conte start beside each other the Bears usually win and force turnovers. If the Bears can keep the continuity I think it is worth exploring. I might not pay Wright as much as Burnett, who I think it more dynamic, but he is a young player who has shown he can start in the league and for this defense and his 92 tackles and 4 Ints would be tough to replace.

8. LB James Anderson [Rey Mualuaga: 2 years 6 million]

Anderson has been awesome, but he gets pushed down the list because of the youth at LB and the fact that Briggs is going to be here for a couple more years. Anderson has played very well and if the Bears can bring him back on a decent deal I would listen. If Bostic takes over and can cover Anderson becomes a 2 down LB, much like Mualuaga.

9. KR Devin Hester [Leon Washington: 1 year 1.3 million]

I was one that advocated for Hester to be gone before the season. But he continues to flash and 250 yards against the Vikings was awesome to see and could be indicative of a more confident Hester. If he continues at this pace I would offer him a deal for about what he makes now. Hester no matter what is not a priority if the money can be used for guys above him on the list. Hester may get more than Washington and I would give him 2-3 years, but you cannot over pay for a kick returner.
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DaMike


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You like our players a lot more then I do.

I wouldn't want to give Cutler that much. I don't think Wootton has shown he's worth that either.
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cody513


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaMike wrote:
You like our players a lot more then I do.

I wouldn't want to give Cutler that much. I don't think Wootton has shown he's worth that either.


Although I agree with both points, QB's are going to get overpaid and Wooton is a guy with some nice potential, but I don't think he's quite in the range of Dunlap yet. Pretty good list though and I agree with your reasoning for the most part.
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Mudderfudder77


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaMike wrote:
You like our players a lot more then I do.

I wouldn't want to give Cutler that much. I don't think Wootton has shown he's worth that either.



Cutler is getting 18 million. Its fine if you don't want the Bears to pay that - but someone is going to.

Cuter is far better than any alternatives we could hope for next season - and other teams know that as well.
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Madmike90


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah Cutler will get that money because he is a QB and if he continues to complete 68% of his passes with a QB rating of around 95.0 he will be worth it…

That is about right for Slauson…

I would be ok with paying Wootton $6 million a year…but not over 6 years…he has an injury history that says we shouldn’t be looking at him that long term…

Peanut’s last contract paid him an average of $5.9 million…he isn’t and shouldn’t resign for $5 million this time around…he is worth more…

I still think Melton’s play over the last 2 seasons says he is worth more than that deal…I still think he will come good this season…

Jennings might also be worth a little more than $5 million…if we got him at that price it would be a good deal…

Too high for Major Wright IMO…somewhere around $4 million a year would work better…

If we could get Anderson & Hester back for those prices it would be great all round.
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pigsooie5


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm gunna start it right now, I'm sure Supe's gunna come in and claim him a pro bowler, but Major Wright will not be a Chicago Bear in 2014. He is CONSTANTLY a step late, It drives me freakin crazy, your right, it's gunna take $5 million a year to resign him and there is zero chance Phil Emery does that. It will be Major Wright in 2014 or Chris Conte in 2015, and I surely am taking the ladder, and I venture to say Emery will too.

I currently have no idea what's going to happen with the DL, I don't think anyone does, including our FO. It's just too early to say. Bet your a$$ if they continue the way they're playing, Melton and Peppers will not take $27 million combined and suck up 22% of our overall team salary, they'l both be gone. I've not been impressed with TJ thus far, he's had one INT for a TD, besides that he's been eaten up both games. I bet we resign Tillman, and sign a CB in Free Agency, rookie CB's are probably the hardest position to translate into immediate success.

I'd like to agree with you on Matt Slauson, I like the way he's played so far, and hearing his remarks about I guess his wife is a Chicago native or something, he'll surely resign even if it is truly a hometown discount. I don't think that stops Emery from drafting a Guard in the middle rounds of the draft, though.

Garza's gone that's another position I think Phil sells high in Free Agency, Alex Mack... Pray
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bkokot


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pigsooie5 wrote:
I'm gunna start it right now, I'm sure Supe's gunna come in and claim him a pro bowler, but Major Wright will not be a Chicago Bear in 2014. He is CONSTANTLY a step late, It drives me freakin crazy, your right, it's gunna take $5 million a year to resign him and there is zero chance Phil Emery does that. It will be Major Wright in 2014 or Chris Conte in 2015, and I surely am taking the ladder, and I venture to say Emery will too.

I currently have no idea what's going to happen with the DL, I don't think anyone does, including our FO. It's just too early to say. Bet your a$$ if they continue the way they're playing, Melton and Peppers will not take $27 million combined and suck up 22% of our overall team salary, they'l both be gone. I've not been impressed with TJ thus far, he's had one INT for a TD, besides that he's been eaten up both games. I bet we resign Tillman, and sign a CB in Free Agency, rookie CB's are probably the hardest position to translate into immediate success.

I'd like to agree with you on Matt Slauson, I like the way he's played so far, and hearing his remarks about I guess his wife is a Chicago native or something, he'll surely resign even if it is truly a hometown discount. I don't think that stops Emery from drafting a Guard in the middle rounds of the draft, though.

Garza's gone that's another position I think Phil sells high in Free Agency, Alex Mack... Pray


I was really worried about Garza going into this season, I think the dramatic increase in talent has helped him out tremendously. However I still think he's next in line for an upgrade, next offseason via the draft or free agency.
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pigsooie5


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bkokot wrote:
pigsooie5 wrote:
I'm gunna start it right now, I'm sure Supe's gunna come in and claim him a pro bowler, but Major Wright will not be a Chicago Bear in 2014. He is CONSTANTLY a step late, It drives me freakin crazy, your right, it's gunna take $5 million a year to resign him and there is zero chance Phil Emery does that. It will be Major Wright in 2014 or Chris Conte in 2015, and I surely am taking the ladder, and I venture to say Emery will too.

I currently have no idea what's going to happen with the DL, I don't think anyone does, including our FO. It's just too early to say. Bet your a$$ if they continue the way they're playing, Melton and Peppers will not take $27 million combined and suck up 22% of our overall team salary, they'l both be gone. I've not been impressed with TJ thus far, he's had one INT for a TD, besides that he's been eaten up both games. I bet we resign Tillman, and sign a CB in Free Agency, rookie CB's are probably the hardest position to translate into immediate success.

I'd like to agree with you on Matt Slauson, I like the way he's played so far, and hearing his remarks about I guess his wife is a Chicago native or something, he'll surely resign even if it is truly a hometown discount. I don't think that stops Emery from drafting a Guard in the middle rounds of the draft, though.

Garza's gone that's another position I think Phil sells high in Free Agency, Alex Mack... Pray


I was really worried about Garza going into this season, I think the dramatic increase in talent has helped him out tremendously. However I still think he's next in line for an upgrade, next offseason via the draft or free agency.

I would agree 100%. I'm hoping for Alex Mack via Free Agency or Hronis Grassu via the Draft.
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AZBearsFan


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Checking in with the Bears Free Agents Reply with quote

WindyCity wrote:
1. QB Jay Cutler [Tony Romo: 6 years 108 million]

2. OG Matt Slauson [Donald Thomas: 4 years 14 million]

3. DE Cory Wootton [Carlos Dunlap: 6 years 40 million]

4. CB Charles Tillman [Ed Reed: 3 years 15 million]

5. DT Henry Melton [Desond Bryant: 5 year 34 million]

6. CB Tim Jennings [Dunta Robinson: 3 years 15 million]

7. S Major Wright [Morgan Burnett: 5 years 26 million]

8. LB James Anderson [Rey Mualuaga: 2 years 6 million]

9. KR Devin Hester [Leon Washington: 1 year 1.3 million]

Agree on Cutler, Slauson, Wootton and Hester. Whether or not we pay Slauson that will depend on whether they plan to keep Long at RG for the long haul or not. I expect if they do that Brown may be our starting LG next year with another value type FA or a draft pick backing them up. I think $15M for Tillman is probably the right number but I expect it'd be over 2 years and not 3. I still expect Melton to get more than that unless he bombs horribly.

Jennings is on his way to Pro Bowl consideration and if he's that good again I don't see him not getting far more than that in UFA, and I expect him to go to the highest bidder because he's never gotten the "big contract" before. Peanut has been paid over $45M since joining the league, and Jennings less than $10M air go, Peanut would seemingly be more likely to take less to stay.

I would be very uncomfortable giving Wright that term at that amount - four years in and he's still making the same mistakes in coverage. That worries me. Seems he may be a better fit in a scheme where he's asked to play closer to the LOS more. Anderson has been a find, but solid 4-3 OLB over 30 these days end up getting deals just like the one Anderson got this year - they're devalued in the new NFL.
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WindyCity


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wright is the tough one.

He is not perfect, but he produces and he and Conte have stabilized the position and have crazy stats when playing together.

It will all come down to dollars. If I can get Wright for decent money then I won't break up the continuity. The Burnett contract is a bit rich but William Moore got 5 years 30 as well.
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WindyCity


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is not that much of a difference between Dunlap and Wootton.

-Similar production

-They are identical sizes at 6'6" 280lbs and are 3 downs ends.

-They are both young and a little inconsistent.

I don't give Wootton 6 years but he deserves 6 million.

4 years 26 million/14 guaranteed
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WindyCity


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tillman: I think that he takes a hometown discount on a 2-3 year deal.

Jennings: I don't think his market is as big as people think he does not fit in every system and he cannot cover a #1 WR. I think 5 million will be his market.
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DaMike


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WindyCity wrote:
There is not that much of a difference between Dunlap and Wootton.

-Similar production

-They are identical sizes at 6'6" 280lbs and are 3 downs ends.

-They are both young and a little inconsistent.

I don't give Wootton 6 years but he deserves 6 million.

4 years 26 million/14 guaranteed
Johnson is on another planet athletically. Also doesn't come with the huge injury risk. Wootton hasn't been great. He's been good for one year. I'm not sold on him yet.
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WindyCity


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaMike wrote:
WindyCity wrote:
There is not that much of a difference between Dunlap and Wootton.

-Similar production

-They are identical sizes at 6'6" 280lbs and are 3 downs ends.

-They are both young and a little inconsistent.

I don't give Wootton 6 years but he deserves 6 million.

4 years 26 million/14 guaranteed
Johnson is on another planet athletically. Also doesn't come with the huge injury risk. Wootton hasn't been great. He's been good for one year. I'm not sold on him yet.


No one is comparing Wootton and Johnson.

The comparison is Wootton and Carlos Dunlap who are very similar players. I am not letting Wootton walk because we are saying goodbye to Peppers who will not be worth half his salary.
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Nads786


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Major Wright is very average... I think we could easily find a SS to replace him either via free agency or the draft.
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