A lot of Chicago Bears fans have been hoping that new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer might also wear the recruiter hat for the Bears and help lure free agent tackle Jermon Bushrod to the Bears to help repair their offensive line. Word out of NOLA is that Bushrod might be heating up discussions to return to his old team.
It looks like the Saints won’t use the franchise tag on the Pro Bowl left tackle, a $9.7 million hit if they were to go that route. Instead, they hope to negotiate a deal with the former fourth round draft pick. He doesn’t know quite what to expect:
“Truthfully I can’t really say what I anticipate on their end because I don’t really know what they’re thinking,” Bushrod said. “As a player, the franchise tag is good, but it’s not what a player really wants. In my situation, I played under the (restricted free agent) tender and then played under a two-year deal.
“So I’d like to have some stability moving forward. I guess it’s a good move, but it’s still an option. I’m not going to get too worked up about it. I always just go through the mind-set of something that I really can’t control. We’ll see how things work out in the next few days.”
The Bears would be hard pressed to sign Bushrod given their cap situation. With an expected $11 million to play with, signing a big ticket free agent isn’t likely and it seems like he’s prepared to get a big money deal.
The good news for Bears fans is that Bushrod is just one example of offensive linemen that developed into Pro Bowl caliber players under Kromer. Last season, guard Carl Nicks bolted the Saints for the division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a monster deal.
Free agency opens in just under 2 weeks, so stay tuned for all the latest rumors and stories as they come up.