Bears Bring in C/G Manny Ramirez for Visit

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears brought in veteran center Manny Ramirez for a visit on Tuesday. Head coach John Fox is familiar with Ramirez, who played for him with the Broncos for four seasons. Ramirez was with the Broncos from 2011-2014 and started 43 games for Fox at both guard and center. He was the Broncos starting center during their Super Bowl appearance in 2013 and was highly rated at both center and guard by Pro Football Focus during the majority of his time in Denver.

Ramirez, 33, was traded to the Lions before the 2015 season in a draft day deal that allowed the Broncos to move up in the first round to select OLB Shane Ray. With the Lions Ramirez appeared in all 16 games with 7 starts at guard. Pro Football Focus rated Ramirez as the Lions most effective offensive linemen last season, so it appears that Ramirez still has some football left.

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The Bears have 2nd-year player Hroniss Grasu penciled in to start at center, but it makes a lot of sense to bring in some veteran competition to push Grasu as they did last year with another former Bronco, Will Montgomery. Ramirez could provide valuable depth at both guard and center, which was a sore spot last year when the Bears were forced to start Patrick Omameh and Vlad Ducasse for long stretches of the season.

Ramirez is nearing the end of his career, but has elite size (6’3 | 326) and proved last year that he can still be a very effective run blocker. His versatility to provide depth at both interior positions, affordable price-tag, powerful run blocking, and familiarity with John Fox makes Ramirez a likely signing at some point this week.

In other Bears news:

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the top wide receivers in the draft, Laquon Treadwell from Ole Miss, is stating that the Bears are among four teams that have displayed the most interest in him so far (Bengals, Browns, Cowboys). It’s not likely the Bears target a WR with the 11th overall pick, but Treadwell just ran a slower than expected 40-time (4.65) and there is a chance he could slip to early in round two where he would be a great value for the Bears.

It would also give them some leverage with Alshon Jeffery’s long-term contract negotiations. A combination of Kevin White and Treadwell would give the Bears two long, powerful outside receivers for the future.