Bears could still make a run at Williams

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
10:58
PM ET

At this moment, the Bears' chances of landing premiere free agent Mario Williams remain a mystery.

Williams visited Buffalo on Tuesday, but he has yet to agree to a contract, which is certainly positive news for the rest of the teams trying to land the 27-year-old pass-rusher.

Remember, Williams is the top free agent left on the market. He could, in theory, take all the time he wants when it comes to deciding on a team. After all, it's not as if a team is going to threaten to pull an offer to gain leverage. Williams has all the leverage in this process, and if he wants to drag it out hear another sales pitch from a team like the Bears, it's a decision to other interested teams must honor and respect.

[+] EnlargeJeremy Mincey
Al Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesJaguars observers will be quick to find that Jeremy Mincey is high on enthusiasm heading into camp.

The three players the Bears acquired on Tuesday (wide receiver Brandon Marshall, quarterback Jason Campbell, linebacker Blake Costanzo) ate up a chunk of the club's salary cap space. But if the organization were to get creative, it could conceivably still make a run at Williams -- although he might have to agree to sign for a tad less to play in Chicago.

In the event Williams goes in a different direction, the Bears have expressed interest in Jacksonville free agent defensive end Jeremy Mincey, who posted a career-best eight sacks last season. At 28-years-old, Mincey would be a younger option if the Bears wanted to part company with fellow free agent Israel Idonije,31, who made a base salary of $2.4 million in 2011.

Idonije, armed with agent Drew Rosenhaus, could be looking for a raise. Rosenhaus generally does quite well for his clients in free agency, and while no teams have yet been linked to Idonije, a market will no doubt emerge for the veteran defensive lineman at some point.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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