If you happen to be driving in north suburban Lake Forest, IL, drive slowly because the Bears might be throwing some money at you. Bears money man Cliff Stein is busy these days, signing players and taking care of business to get everyone under contract as mini camp is about to kick off this weekend.
It started late last week when they inked 7th round pick J’Marcus Webb to a 4-year deal worth about $1.85 million with a modest $60k bonus. Webb will be Mike Tice’s pet project and at 6-8 328 lbs this mammoth could be a project for right tackle.
Next up, 5th round pick Josh Moore signed on the dotted line to try to compete in the secondary. The K-State corner should figure into the mix on special teams and might add some depth to the cornerback position.
The next money move was long overdue as Danieal Manning finally signed his one year tender to collect a $1.76 million dollar payday in 2010. Have you ever seen someone so slow to cash a million dollar lottery ticket? Here’s the puzzling thing about Manning from Vaughn McClure’s post on Chicago Breaking Sports:
"Manning is working with the first team at strong safety while Chris Harris is working with the first team at free. Harris, who was traded back to the Bears from Carolina, prefers to play strong safety. Manning has played a lot of free safety, but the Bears might turn to rookie Major Wright at the position if Wright picks up the defense quickly."
Why exactly are Manning and Harris working out at the wrong positions? Put Harris at strong safety, Major Wright at the free safety spot and work Manning in as the nickel back. I think that makes the most sense. Giving guys reps in the wrong spots doesn’t do any good. But I digress.
Back to the money matters…
It was a strange day for former Northwestern Wildcats on Wednesday. 4th round pick Corey Wooten inked a four year deal worth nearly $2.3 million with a tidy little $500k in up front money. That was the good news for NU guys. On the other hand, former QB Brett Basanez was sent packing, which some believe might be opening the door to bringing in a veteran QB. You knew that his days were numbered when the Bears spent a draft pick on a QB.
Speaking of the QB they drafted, the only draft picks left without some new paper are 3rd rounder Major Wright and 6th round QB Dan LeFevour, but expect deals to be done before the Bears’ self-imposed May 28th deadline.