- Neil Hayes and Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times report that the Bears have interest in Brad Smith in free agency.
- Bob LeGere at the Daily Herald explains why Oregon State center Alex Linnenkohl and Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher , both undrafted free agents who signed with the Bears, are players to watch.
- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune reports this fascinating story about Greg Olsen and the possibility that the Bears might be offering him as trade bait:
“His agent Drew Rosenhaus sent a mass email to the league’s general managers and personnel people at 7:56 p.m. Wednesday night announcing the Bears were making Olsen available for trade. The email went to scores of people, including Bears general manager Jerry Angelo and contract negotiator Cliff Stein.
“’The Bears have granted me permission to seek a trade for Greg Olsen,’ Rosenhaus wrote. ‘Please let me know if interested. Sounds like the Bears will be very reasonable on the compensation in return for Greg.’”
“But 11 minutes later, Rosenhaus sent another mass email to the same recipients, including Angelo and Stein, asking them to ignore his previous message.
“’Please disregard my previous email regarding Greg Olsen,’ the one-sentence email said.”
Not very likely, Drew.
I can’t imagine what’s going on here. But between the messed up trade with the Ravens during the draft and things like this, Bears management isn’t exactly inspiring confidence in their organizational skills.
- The Bears apparently wanted former Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Justin Durant but the Lions got him. That’s unfortunate as the Bears have needed an upgrade at strong side linebacker for a while. It will be interesting to see what direction they go in now.
- The Bears are apparently targeting offensive tackles in free agency rather than guards. ESPN’s NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert says that the Steeler’s Willie Colon and the Saints Justin Bushrod are on their radar.
- Seifert also thinks that Donovan McNabb has ultimately signed to be a backup in Minnesota. He still obviously thinks Christian Ponder has a good chance to be the starter from Week 1:
“Never did I think the Minnesota Vikings would draft a quarterback No. 12 overall, declare him their Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco — i.e., an instant starter on a veteran team — and then acquire a veteran to start ahead of him just before training camp.”
- Seifert thinks that Sidney Rice just plain wanted out of Los Ang… I mean Minnesota.
- Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com, a self-professed Vikings fan, doesn’t think the Seahawks fans should raise their expectations to high for the Tarvaris Jackson to Rice combination:
“With the Seahawks pouncing in back-to-back days on former Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and former Vikings receiver Sidney Rice, it’s possible that the folks in Seattle have confused the latter with Jerry and the former with Joe Montana. Or Steve Young.
“The reality is that, during their mutual time in Minnesota, Jackson and Rice never really clicked, even with running back Adrian Peterson pulling a safety to the line of scrimmage on just about every play.”
Assuming he doesn’t take his foot off the gas after getting big money, Rice is a good receiver. But Tarvaris Jackson is never going to be a consistent quarterback. I would agree with Florio is that he’s a very leaky vessel to pour much hope in.
- The Sports Pickle compares Summer Camp to NFL Training Camp. Here’s a sample:
One Final Thought
DJ Gallo at ESPN’s Page 2 blog gives us this handy chart to follow for NFL Free Agency: