All of the “reportedly” and “sources tell us” is over. NFL teams are free to sign free agents in ink now instead of just agreeing to terms. The Bears officially took the plunge on a number of players, new and old.
All of the Bears draft picks are now under contract. Third round draft pick safety Chris Conte singed a 4-year deal this morning after 2nd rounder Stephen Paea put his name on the dotted line last night. First rounder Gabe Carimi rounded out the rookie contracts after agreeing to a 4-year deal worth just a shade over $7 million with a little more than half of it guaranteed.
The Bears brought back a couple of their own by agreeing to a 2-year deal with fan favorite, defensive tackle Anthony Adams and linebacker Nick Roach. They also brought back RFA quarterback Caleb Hanie in a move that was more of a formality.
The Bears brought in a few new players to the mix. First, they brought in Sam Hurd, who is a bigger version of Rashied Davis. He doesn’t figure to have a big impact as a wide receiver, but he’s a good special teams guy.
Roy Williams, who played for Mike Martz in Detroit a few years ago and under wide receivers coach Daryl Drake at Texas, will bolster the Bears wide receiver group. While he’s not one of the premier names, he still instantly becomes the most polished receiver in the Bears group. His physical attributes are not in question, it’s what’s between his ears and his attitude that will determine his success. I foresee some heated sideline discussions between Williams, Cutler and Martz.
The last new face the Bears brought in is Vernon Gholston, a former #6 pick overall by the Jets who has failed to live up to his lofty draft status in 3 years in New York. I’ve called him a bust (actually Google did, I just agreed) but I’ve already gotten some strong pushback on our Bear Goggles On Facebook page:
He exceled as a DE in a 4-3 defense in college, drafted to a 3-4 defense to play LB and struggled. Not unheard of. Was moved to play a DE in the 3-4 defense, which is the equivalent of being a 3 technique in a 4-3. Not his game. Now he’s back in a 4-3 defense, playing his natural position, with great coaching (marinelli), great veteran leadership (peppers and izzy) and a good rotation around him. Has he sucked so far? Yup. Will he beast it up for the bears? He has the potential (6th overall draft pick), but he will probably be a rotating guy. And I’m guessing a damn good one. So let’s hold out our judgement because he’s finally in a position where he can do some damage.
OK, well I guess we’ll see about Gholston. I hope for Angelo and the Bears’ sake that Ryan is right. Something tells me it’s Gaines Adams – Part 2 – but without the wasted draft pick.
One move that you don’t see on the list is re-signing center Olin Kreutz. Why haven’t they been able to close this Kreutz deal yet? My spidey senses are starting to tingle in a bad way about #57. If this deal was going to get done, I’m not sure why it hasn’t been yet. Are the Bears low-balling? Get this deal done or I’m dusting off my old pitchforks and torches and heading up to Halas Hall.