Bears contact Colon; busy behind scenes
July, 27, 2011
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com
AP Photo/Jack DempseyWillie Colon is considered a contingency plan if the Bears are unable to land Jermon Bushrod.Don't misconstrue the Bears silence on the free agency front.
Club officials remained holed up in meetings all day Tuesday, as representatives for several of its own free agents wondered why there hadn't been any contact regarding potential deals. Part of the team's slow pace in consummating deals stems from the fact the Bears are plotting how to navigate a course that involves several moving parts.
For example, the Bears have made contact with Steelers tackle Willie Colon about the possibility of making a deal, according to an NFL source. But it's believed that Colon is actually more of a contingency plan for if the Bears are unable to land Saints tackle Jermon Bushrod.
Interestingly, though, the availability of Colon and Bushrod could potentially be determined by what happens in Atlanta with the Falcons trying to sign free-agent tackle Tyson Claybo, and guards Justin Blaylock and Harvey Dahl. The Bears expressed interest in Claybo prior to the NFL draft, but obviously drafted Gabe Carimi in the first round.
Still, the team is interested in beefing up the offensive line because of the inexperience of Carimi and second-year man J'Marcus Webb, not to mention concern about the duo not being able to participate in a team-supervised offseason conditioning program. It's also worth keeping in mind that offensive line coach Mike Tice prefers to work with tackle types who can kick inside to guard.
So in addition to what's going on with the potential moves in free agency with offensive linemen, the team is also trying to re-sign some of their own players such as center Olin Kreutz, and defensive tackle Anthony Adams, while pondering the idea of bringing in a free-agent receiver such as Brad Smith (the coaching staff is on board, according to sources, but the front office isn't yet sold on Smith).
The team is also interested in Jaguars free-agent linebacker Justin Durant, and reportedly is interested in Titans pass rusher Jason Babin.
The team spent the earlier part of the week trying to bring in its class of undrafted rookies, and is still trying to make deals to bring in all the draft picks before the start of training camp on Friday.
So the Bears have their hands full on several fronts.
But again, don't misconstrue the team's silence as a lack of interest on the unrestricted free-agency front.