Aug 21, 2010; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) is sacked by Oakland Raiders linebacker Kamerion Wimbley (96) during the preseason game at Soldier Field. The Raiders defeated the Bears 32-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Bears Should Go After Kamerion Wimbley

As expected, the Raiders cut outside linebacker/defensive end Kamerion Wimbley on Friday, avoiding a big 2012 salary cap hit.  Raider Nation’s loss could be Chicago’s gain.  Strike that – it should be the Bears’ gain.  Since the Bears missed out on the Mario Williams sweepstakes, and other top free agents like Jeremy Mincey and John Abraham are off the board, they should go after a consolation prize and Wimbley is just that.

Wimbley has been dominant in his appearances against the Bears.  He torched the Bears for 4 sacks in a preseason game a couple of years ago and had a solid performance, including a long interception return, against the Cutler-less Bears in Oaktown last season.

Wimbley is currently listed as an outside linebacker, his 6’4″ 255 frame could be a rush end in the Bears’ scheme to play opposite Julius Peppers.  With the Bears re-upping DE Izzy Idonije today, it’s becoming increasingly clear the Bears don’t feel they can find a big ticket DE solution  in free agency.

As Sean Jensen reported this morning, the Bears have about $12.9 million in cap space left over, not including the deals they just inked with Idonije and Craig Steltz, so it’s tight but not impossible to get Wimbley.  You figure they need about $5 million for the rookie pool and teams usually leave about $2 million in contingency (the emergency Josh McCown in-season signings, if you will).

That means they have about $6 million in cap space to go after Wimbley.  They could clear some more space by giving Marion Barber the boot and other moves might be afoot.  It will really depend what Wimbley commands on the market. I’ve heard the Patriots linked to Wimbley, but we just don’t know.

What do you think?  Should the Bears go after Wimbley?  Do you think they’ll be able to pull off a deal?  Are you OK with Idonije and a draft pick opposite Peppers?

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  • 1Bearsfan77

    Yeah they really should go get him and if they give Barber the boot and Williams that will give them a little more room to play with. I hope they actually get him we need someone on the other side that can dominate with peppers.

  • Mr.Pickles

    I have mixed feelings about this. I think the price tag might be a bit steep and Wimbley’s numbers really haven’t been stellar. On the flip side Peppers’ stats haven’t been eye popping either and there’s no question how important he’s been to the Bears D, so maybe there’s an explanation for the low numbers and he’s not gonna get over paid.

    On a separate note I actually think they should keep Barber. If I lived in Chicago I’m sure I’d get run out of town for typing this but I actually think he’s a perfect compliment to Forte and wasn’t really used appropriately last year.

  • teejaysplace

     @Mr.Pickles I think Barber’s main issues have been his injuries.  When he was on the field, he could be effective, but it’s clear from his injury history over the past 2-3 years that his playing style has started to catch up with him.  I think the Bears are confidant that they can get the same production – perhaps even a bit more – out of Kalil Bell.  In that case, it makes sense to move on from Barber and save yourself the cap hit, particularly if you know he’s not going to suit up for all 16 games. 

  • teejaysplace

     @1Bearsfan77 Williams only had a one year deal, so they’re not on the hook to him at all.  My guess is that they’ll look to add another receiver in rounds 2-3, either Nick Toon, Brian Quick, or someone similar. 

  • teejaysplace

    In an ideal world, the Bears would be able to bolster their pass rush, at least in part, through free agency. That gives Phil Emery ideal flexibility on draft day.  Without it, Chicago needs to find a pass rusher, likely in the first 2 rounds, which means they run the risk of “reaching” for someone or, if Emery sticks to his guns, missing out entirely.  With the holes filled, he can pick the best player available, draft for depth at any number of positions, or grab someone who falls.  As a new GM, that is definitely the position you want to be in.  But I think this all depends on how “sold” the Bears are on Wimbley (and, conversely, how sold Wimbley is on the Bears.)  If Smith feels he’s an ideal fit for the Bears’ defense and allows them to play more Cover 2, I think they take a hard look.  If they find he’s average or if Emery has someone in mind that he’s confident he can draft, I think they pass and spend the money elsewhere. 

  • dhunter

    I like Wimbley too but Mr.P is right, his stats are not all that great. Plus he will be 29 in October. We need to get years younger on D, not just barely get under 30 on average.

  • JaredRichardHines

    I think Wimbley is a beast, maybe a little undersized for a pure 4-3 end, but if we can get him I say go for it.  He blows plays up.  Also, I like Idonije – he defends the run very good and people forget to talk about that aspect of the DE position.  It’s rather important, setting that edge.
    I also feel that our OL is going to be better than people think, especially if they can stay healthy.  I’m all for upgrades there, but for our first draft pick I say get the best cornerback available.

  • reardonr11

    I like Izzy coming off the corner and I think we should go after a DB.