Kreutz Era Comes to an End, Bears Sign Replacement Spencer

Multiple tweets from Bears camp are confirming that the Olin Kreutz era has come to an end in Chicago after 13 seasons with the Bears.  Kreutz was the most tenured member of the Bears, dating all the way back to the Dave Wannstedt regime.  That distinction now belongs to long snapper Patrick Mannelly.

As for Kreutz, he departs the Bears after the two sides failed to reach a compromise on a contract that hit an impasse over $500,000.  That’s a fraction of what they’ve doled out for their various reclamation projects, so it leads me to believe that someone within the Bears organization did not want Olin around anymore.  You don’t get rid of a player you want when you have room under the salary cap for a half a million unless they’re not wanted any more.  I’m not sure if this is Mike Tice, Mike Martz, Lovie Smith or Jerry Angelo, but someone’s got some explaining to do.

For all that Kreutz has meant to this organization, it shouldn’t come to an end like this.  He should be able to go out on his terms and he should have retired as a Chicago Bear.  Yes, he’s lost a step and hasn’t been a Pro Bowl level players for a few years now, but his leadership and presence in the Bears locker room and in the Bears huddle will be missed.  In a normal offseason, with OTA’s and mini-camps to work through a transition phase, the move would be palatable.   Now, it just leaves me with a knot in my stomach to think how Mike Tice will patch a new offensive line together.   After a bad year last season, giving up over 50 sacks of Jay Cutler, Kreutz critics will argue that it can’t get much worse along the line. That might prove true, but I doubt it.

To fill the void left by Kreutz, the Bears signed former Seahawks center Chris Spencer.  Spencer was a Tim Ruskell late first round selection back in 2005.

Jerry Angelo has scheduled a press conference at 5:30 PM Central, when I’m sure all of this will be discussed.

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  • Mr.Pickles

    Wow, really can’t make much sense of this one. Even if Kreutz is a fraction of the former player he was he would still be the one up there making adjustments and making sure the rest of the line is where they need to be and on point, that’s what I fear is really lost here. Granted I know next to nothing about Spencer but I think the prospect of getting up to speed, on an o-line as bad as this one, in a short offseason is too big a task for just about anyone. One of the few things I do know about him is he was drafted to be the center of the future for the Seahawks in the first round, another bust perhaps? That seems to be the theme this year.

  • Obnxs1

    Angelo once again proves what a jackass he is…and reading all the articles linked to the right; Olin proves he’s a class act. 13 years, leader of the team, heart of the O Line, comes down in salary, and backs off multi-year demand only to be treated like garbage.

    The regime change from Angelo and Lovie can’t come soon enough.