Bears Potential Targets Won’t Hit Market: Johnson Inks with Bills, Avril Gets Tagged

Another couple of the potential free agent targets for the Chicago Bears will not be hitting the open market.  The Buffalo Bills agreed to terms with wide receiver Stevie Johnson on a 5 year deal worth $36.25 million with nearly $20 million in guaranteed money.

It tightens up a free agent wide receiver market by removing Johnson from the mix of wide receivers that will be available.  DeSean Jackson was tagged by the Eagles and Wes Welker is also expected to get tagged.  No official word yet out of KC, but Dwayne Bowe could also be off the market.

That leaves Marquest Colston, Vincent Jackson and RFA Mike Wallace as possibilities for the Bears along with a bunch of second tier guys.

On the other side of the ball, there was some buzz about interest in Detroit Lions’ DE Cliff Avril but the Lions killed that buzz by applying the franchise tag to the up and coming defensive end.  The 26 year old Avril had 11 sacks and a number of forced fumbles in his best season in the league.

There was a strong chance the Lions would not tag Avril since they’re up against it salary cap-wise.  Now they’ll have to do some financial shell game to stay under the 2012 salary cap.  Look for them to try to re-structure a few deals to keep their defensive line in tact.

I saw some chatter on Twitter about the Bears possibly making a push for the Texans’ Mario Williams.  It’s nice to dream about bookend DE’s Peppers and Williams, but it’s not going to happen.  The Bears have too much money tied up on the defense as it is and I can’t envision them spending a ton on defense without addressing the offense first.

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  • jrstaples1

    “It’s nice to dream about bookend DEs,” but it’s not going to happen because they have too much money tied up on the defense already? How did you think they were going to go after Avril without spending money?

  • patboberg

    Bears need to quit dreaming with the high priced WRs and go after a cheaper -and possibly more awesome- option in the Cowboy’s Laurent Robinson. That guy was awesome last year.

  • UCF_Bear

    I like the idea of infusing youth into our Defense.  Those guys are absolutely still playing at an elite level, but lets begin adding the future pieces we’ll need.  That way we can groom our next generation of Midway Monsters as well as smoothly transition them when the time comes.  Chicago Bear football’s bread & butter is strong “D” and a superior running game.  That being said, I actually wouldn’t be shocked if the Bears grabbed an RB out of this year’s prospects.  I think Barber played well in the role we enlisted him for (he was what we anticipated Chester Taylor would be).  I’m not sure if they bring him back, but if they don’t grab an RB for a solid 1-2 punch.  I agree with the feeling of suring up the O-line.  True, with Tice as new OC the group we have will be in a MUCH better position to play effectively and be successful.  Still, let’s be honest football BEGINS and ENDS @ the line, so you can NEVER…NEVER…NEVER have too many linemen, that goes for both sides of the ball.  I wouldn’t be shocked to see a DE, DT, OG, OL taken in the first 3 rds.  Certainly a DB and WR will be chosen during that same period for us.
     
    D-Line = Paea (23), Okoye (24), Melton (25), Toeaina (27), and Peppers (32)
    * I think one more season and Corey Wooton (24) gets cut due to inconsistency from injuries.
    - So it makes sense to try and find that bookend up-and-coming DE.
     
    LBs = Trahan (25), Williams (22), Roach (26), Briggs (31), and Urlacher (33)
    - I can buy into the Luke Kuechly idea. (Props DeCon)
     
    D-Backs = Conte (23), Wright (23), Moore (24), Steltz (25) Graham (26), Bowman (27), Jennings (28), and Tillman (31)
    * A good CB would go nicely here
    * One can never too many safeties either!
     
    O-Line = Carimi (23), Webb (23), Horn (25), Williams (25), Louis (26), Spencer (29), Garza (32)
    - Anyone disagree that if an O-Lineman is still available in the 1st rd we shouldn’t grab him?
     
    Yes we need a WR, but I’m just not sold on Michael Floyd.  He’s this year’s Jimmy Clausen (who was that year’s Brady Quinn).  Or for that matter any player emanating out of Mike Mayock’s mancrushes.  I do believe a quality WR will be available in the 2nd rd.  Attend to the line(s) first!  And stack where you can with depth, last year was glaringly obvious we lacked that.
     
    Thoughts Bear Nation?

  • UCF_Bear

    I like the idea of infusing youth into our Defense.  Those guys are absolutely still playing at an elite level, but lets begin adding the future pieces we’ll need.  That way we can groom our next generation of Midway Monsters as well as smoothly transition them when the time comes.  Chicago Bear football’s bread & butter is strong “D” and a superior running game.  That being said, I actually wouldn’t be shocked if the Bears grabbed an RB out of this year’s prospects.  I think Barber played well in the role we enlisted him for (he was what we anticipated Chester Taylor would be).  I’m not sure if they bring him back, but if they don’t grab an RB for a solid 1-2 punch.  I agree with the feeling of suring up the O-line.  True, with Tice as new OC the group we have will be in a MUCH better position to play effectively and be successful.  Still, let’s be honest football BEGINS and ENDS @ the line, so you can NEVER…NEVER…NEVER have too many linemen, that goes for both sides of the ball.  I wouldn’t be shocked to see a DE, DT, OG, OL taken in the first 3 rds.  Certainly a DB and WR will be chosen during that same period for us.
     
    D-Line = Paea (23), Okoye (24), Melton (25), Toeaina (27), and Peppers (32)
    * I think one more season and Corey Wooton (24) gets cut due to inconsistency from injuries.
    - So it makes sense to try and find that bookend up-and-coming DE.
     
    LBs = Trahan (25), Williams (22), Roach (26), Briggs (31), and Urlacher (33)
    - I can buy into the Luke Kuechly idea. (Props DeCon)
     
    D-Backs = Conte (23), Wright (23), Moore (24), Steltz (25) Graham (26), Bowman (27), Jennings (28), and Tillman (31)
    * A good CB would go nicely here
    * One can never have too many safeties either!
     
    O-Line = Carimi (23), Webb (23), Horn (25), Williams (25), Louis (26), Spencer (29), Garza (32)
    - Anyone disagree that if an O-Lineman is still available in the 1st rd we shouldn’t grab him?
     
    Yes we need a WR, but I’m just not sold on Michael Floyd.  He’s this year’s Jimmy Clausen (who was that year’s Brady Quinn).  Or for that matter any player emanating out of Mike Mayock’s mancrushes.  I do believe a quality WR will be available in the 2nd rd.  Attend to the line(s) first!  And stack where you can with depth, last year was glaringly obvious we lacked that.

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