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What should the Bears do this offseason?

February 13th

The Chicago Bears have 13.1 millions dollars available for free agency. The Bears have 13.1 million to re-sign current players and to sign other unrestricted free agents.

Re-sign the following players and their salary:

Olin Kruetz C 2.5 million / 7 years
James Allen HB 1.2 million /3 years
Frankie Smith FS 0.5 million /3 years
Bryan Robinson DE/DT 2.5 million / 4 years
Van Tuinei DE 0.5 million / 3 years
Todd Perry OG 1.0 million /2 years
Eddie Kennison WR 1.0 million /4 years

Kruetz and Robinson are no-brainers. Robinson should be moved to DT. Resign Allen so we can have a proven HB next year. Smith is one of the best special teams players in the league and a good back-up safety. Van Tuinei will add depth to our defensive line. We wont be able to afford a better OG than Perry and he did pretty well. Kennison is a great 3rd WR and did average when he was the #1 guy.

Let the following players go:

Curtis Enis HB
Walt Harris CB
Shane Matthews QB
Clyde Simmons DE
Troy Wilson DE
Casey Wiegmann C
John Allred TE
Macey Brooks WR

Enis wont re-sign and we wont waste the money. Harris is too expensive and the Bears will start Azuhmah. Matthews wants out and he wont start anyway. Simmons will most likely retire. Wilson is not needed. Wiegmann will want too much money and we wont pay a backup that much and he will start somewhere else. Allred wont be worth it. Brooks will be gone because of our depth at WR and his bad performance.

Release/Restructure the following current players under contract:

Restructure Jim Flanigan DT saving 1.0 million
Release Glen Milburn HB/R saving 1.2 million
Release Shawn Wooden FS saving 1.0 million
Release Brad Culpepper Saving 0.7 million
(Wooden is a possibility to trade)

Flanigan does not deserve what he is getting now and he may be released or traded. Milburn was not a threat at all this year. Shawn Wooden is getting too much as a back-up safety. Culpepper was a big disappointment.

Our current Cap figure is now 6.8 million under. With that the Bears should be able to sign some Free Agents:

Marcellus Wiley DE 3.5 million / 5 years
Gus Frerotte QB 1.0 million / 3 years
Howard Griffith FB 0.8 million /2 years

This will leave the Bears with 2.5 million for July 1st cuts. The possibility is Ted Washington DT from Buffalo.

Wiley is a stud DE that stops the Run and gets pressure on the QB. We should be able to get him because Buffalo is way over the cap. Frerotte wont go back to Denver because Griese will start. He will compete for the starting job with Miller and McNown. Griffith is a great FB that can block and catch.

Now the Bears can look to the 2001 NFL Draft.

Round 1 Pick #8 Deuce McAllister HB Mississippi Allen was a good running back but he did not produce enough TDs and was not a big play threat. The Bears need someone who can be an elite HB. Deuce is the all-around best HB in the draft. He can run well inside and outside, catch, block and run routes all very well.

Round 2 Pick #38 Shaun Rogers DT Texas The Bears are looking for a huge guy in the middle. Rogers is 330 pounds. He can stuff the run very well and still gets pressure on the quarterback. Robinson and Wells maybe the starters but Rogers will be a good backup who will be rotated in and soon take over a starting spot.

Round 3 Pick #68 Roland Seymour DE Florida State The Bears will need a lot of depth on the defensive line this year. This was a problem last year. Seymour was a top 10 pick after a great year but didnt do much this year and dropped. He still has great skills.

Round 4 Pick #100 Chad Brown OT Georgia Tech James Williams is getting old and Brockenmeyer seems to be getting worse. Light may be a replacement for Blake or to take over when Williams retires.

Round 4 Pick #115 Tony Stewart TE Penn State Enough of the project TEs like Mayes or Lyman. Stewart is a TE that can catch the ball. The Bears have been without a good TE and Stewart will help out whoever plays QB next year.

Round 5 Pick #130 Nick Harris P California The Bears had no punter last year at all. This is a glaring need. Harris has a very strong leg and is great at directional kicking.

Round 7 Pick #192 John Capel WR/KR Florida He is a great returner and after releasing Milburn we may need one. He has great speed. He will fight for the returner job with Dez White and Dwayne Bates.

Round 7 Pick #194 Jameel Cook FB Illinois The team need a FB. Griffith is very good but he is getting a little old and is we lose Enis and Dragos we may need some more RBs. Cook can run well but is great at catching out of the backfield. He is also a very good blocker.

So after re-signing, signing, releasing, trading, restructuring and drafting players our 53-man roster should look like this:

Quarterback:
1a: Miller
1b.McNown
1c.Frerotte

Running Back:
1: Deuce McAllister
2: James Allen
3: Marlon Barnes

Fullback:
1: Griffith
2: Cook

Wide Receiver:
1: Marcus Robinson
2: Bobby Engram
3: Eddie Kennison
4: Marty Booker
5: Dwayne Bates
6: Dez White
7: Selicio Sanford

Tight End:
1: Tony Stewart
2: Dustin Lyman

Offensive Line:
1: Blake Brockenmeyer
1: Todd Perry
1: Olin Kruetz
1: Chris Vallerial
1: James Williams
6: Matt Light
7: Rex Tucker
8: Patrick Mannely
9: Jimmy Herndon
10: Jerry Wisne

Defensive End:
1: Marcellus Wiley
1: Phillip Daniels
2: Roland Seymour
3: Van Tuinei

Defensive Tackle:
1: Brian Robinson
2: Mike Well/
2: Shaun Rogers
4: Jim Flanigan

Outside Linebacker:
1: Warrick Holdman
1: Sean Harris
2: Rosevolt Colvin/
2: Barry Minter

Middle Linebacker:
1: Brian Urlacher
2: Khari Samuel

Cornerbacks:
1: Thomas Smith
1: Jerry Azuhmah/
1: R.W. McQuarters
3: Reggie Austin
4: Todd McMillon

Safeties:
1: Tony Parrish
1: Mike Brown
2: Frankie Smith
3: Michael Green

Special Teams:
1: Paul Edinger
1: Nick Harris
1: John Capel/
Dwayne Bates