After crossing a big need off their wish list with the acquisition (or re-acquisition) of safety Chris Harris, there is still a major offseason need that has yet to be addressed – the offensive line.
There was a brief window when we were left to dream about adding former Pro Bowler Alan Faneca, but that has come and gone, so naturally we have to ask who is left to turn our attention to fill the void at left guard in particular. Some interesting names have bubbled to the surface:
According to league sources, the Bears have had discussions with former Saints guard Jamar Nesbit, in addition to contacting representatives for former Eagles guard Shawn Andrews to get a timetable on his status. Andrews underwent back surgeries in 2008 (microdiscectomy to repair the L4-5 disc) and 2009 (to repair the L5-S1) and is just beginning to incorporate running into workouts.
Shawn Andrews is an interesting prospect. He comes pre-injured with a back injuty, which is always a great selling point for an offensive lineman who engages in violent collisions on just about every play.
In addition to those comments, we get these beauties from the same post:
A three-time Pro Bowl pick, Andrews, 27, isn’t expected to be ready for full workouts until June or July, according to sources. He’s played in just two games over the past two years because of his back condition. Andrews’ injury history coupled with personal issues (he’s battled depression and some former teammates question his desire to play football) could drive down his asking price.
Not only does he come pre-injured, but he also appears to be a head case that comes with a reputation of being lazy and unmotivated. Those must be requirements listed on the Bears’ job posting.
Nesbit, on the other hand, seems to draw consideration as a backup, but the post suggests he might be able to compete for a starting job based on the level of competition.
Then there’s Deuce Lutui. Remember him? He was the player Tommie Harris punched four plays into a blowout loss to the Cardinals last season. Harris was ejected, of course. Now the 6-3, 340-pounder may be falling out of favor in Arizona, where he could be replaced by Reggie Wells.
Lutui is a restricted free agent who hasn’t signed his qualifying tender. According to an Arizona Republic report, coaches and management aren’t happy with Lutui’s decision to skip the club’s offseason workout program.
If nothing else, signing Lutui would give Harris a chance at a rematch in training camp.
I say the Bears drop the Deuce. He is a massive guard who could help the Bears on offensive line immediately and provide a little motivation/inspiration for Tommie Harris. Get his head screwed on right and he should be good to go.