Chicago Bears: Arthur Brown

No guarantees for Bears' D.J. Williams

April, 8, 2013
4/08/13
12:16
PM ET
New Chicago Bears linebacker D.J. Williams didn't officially sign his contract until last Thursday, and I've finally gotten a look at the specifics via ESPN Stats & Information resources. The structure of Williams' one-year, $1.75 million deal further confirms that the Bears don't view him as a long-term replacement for Brian Urlacher.

The contract does not include any guaranteed money. Williams' base salary is $900,000, and there are two sets of roster bonuses that will pay him $23,437 for every game he is on the 53-man roster and another $23,437 each time he is on the game-day 46-man roster. So if he is active for all 16 games, those roster bonuses would total $750,000.

There is also a $100,000 workout bonus tied to offseason work.

There are reasons why Williams was available for such a relative bargain. Most notably, he only played seven games last season for the Denver Broncos because of a pair of suspensions. But the Bears still got what Matt Bowen, writing for ESPN InsiderInsider, suggests will be a 2013 upgrade over Urlacher because of Williams' "short area change-of-direction skills and speed to the ball."

As with any business, NFL teams don't want to make any more of a financial commitment than they have to. In Williams' case, the only thing the Bears are required to do is devote a low salary-cap figure ($1.328 million). And as we noted earlier Monday, the Bears are hosting a potentially longer-term answer at the position in Kansas State's Arthur Brown. The Bears have kept all options open.

Arthur Brown enters Bears' MLB discussion

April, 8, 2013
4/08/13
10:17
AM ET
This draft season has harkened thoughts of the old days in the Black and Blue division: lots of middle linebacker talk. With half of the NFC North seeking long-term answers at the position, we've discussed some of the best-known middle/inside linebacker prospects in the draft, from Notre Dame's Manti Te'o to Georgia's Alec Ogletree.

The Minnesota Vikings hosted both Te'o and Ogletree last week at their annual "Top 30 event," and the Chicago Bears are bringing in another prominent prospect for a visit starting Monday. The Bears are getting a closer look at Kansas State's Arthur Brown, projected by Scouts Inc. as a second-round draft pick Insider, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.

Brown has been on the radar for a while but he opened more eyes at Kansas State's pro day by running his 40-yard dash in the 4.56-4.66 range, according to Dickerson. Scouts Inc.'s Insider report notes that Brown is a bit undersized at 6-feet 3/8th-inches and suggested he is best suited for a system that "protects" its linebackers with two-gapping defensive tackles. On the other hand, his speed gives him "sideline-to-sideline range," according to the analysis.

From a bigger picture, Brown's visit indicates the Bears are not sitting pat at linebacker even after signing free agents D.J. Williams and James Anderson, a topic we discussed last week. Even if they intend for Williams to be their starting middle linebacker in 2013, they still need to make plans to find a longer-term replacement for Brian Urlacher.

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