Chicago Bears: Sam Hurd
The first wave of free agency has come to a close, but the Chicago Bears still aren't done adding players. We anticipate the club continuing to build the roster all the way through free agency, and even after the draft.
But in the meantime, we decided to spend this week taking a look at some of the best and worst free-agent acquisitions made over the past five years by the Chicago Bears. Feel free to add some of your own in the comments section:
Good: Julius Peppers
Position: Defensive end
Contract: Six years, $84 million
Years of service with Bears: 2010-13
Bad: Sam Hurd
Position: Wide receiver
Contract: Three years, $5.1 million
Years of service with Bears: 2011
Bears cornerback Charles Tillman checked in at No. 6 , one spot behind Tampa Bay’s Darrelle Revis, and one slot ahead of Miami’s Brent Grimes.
Edwards wrote this about Tillman: “This is another player who I don't think gets enough credit. He's simply a complete corner. He gets pegged as Tampa 2 CB, but they don't play nearly as much Tampa 2 in Chicago now. He's physical, we know what he can do in terms of stripping the ball (three forced fumbles this season and 10 last year) and he's probably the best tackler on this list. He had been a little nicked up with a knee issue, but still had three picks this season before going on injured reserve this week with a triceps injury.”
It’s concerning to think Tillman may have already played his last game as a Chicago Bear, but if the organization lets the cornerback hit the market, there should be some suitors out there.
-- ESPNChicago.com’s Jeff Dickerson puts together this week’s Stock Watch. Stock in Josh McCown, Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall is rising.
-- In case you missed it, here’s an incredible in-depth piece on former Bears receiver Sam Hurd, written by Michael McKnight of the MMQB. It details the entire Hurd drug case, and even delves into how the receiver became dependent on marijuana. The piece really falls in line with what I've thought about Hurd and the case all along, based on my interactions with the receiver when he was with Chicago, and some of the court documents I've obtained since the news first broke. It seems that Hurd, in his naiveté, talked a much bigger game in terms of the drug trade than he actually knew, and he could wind up paying for that with a life term in prison. He’ll be sentenced on Wednesday.
“Whatever was considered the loudest weed in California—I wanted a notch above that,” Hurd says in the story. “I had educated myself on different strains and potencies and growing techniques. I was very selective. It was like wine.”
There’s tons of interesting nuggets in this story. I encourage you to take the time to read this long piece.
-- CSNChicago.com’s John Mullin considers the Bears' postseason prospects to be difficult at best because of its 3-4 conference record. Can’t say that I disagree here.
Veteran Rashied Davis is back with the team after spending last season with the Detroit Lions. A foot injury limited him to 11 games for the Lions, but as we noted last summer, he is one of those "glue players" who helps good teams get better.
The Bears no doubt regret their decision last year to swap Davis for free agent Sam Hurd, a bigger receiver and a good special teams player who was arrested in December on federal drug charges after a six-month investigation.
Related: In the video, ESPN's Rachel Nichols reports that middle linebacker Brian Urlacher doesn't like wearing a brace on his left knee but is otherwise unconcerned about lingering soreness that has kept him out of the Bears' past four practices.
U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldana of the Northern District of Texas said Chavful, 46, faces charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.
Chavful made an initial appearance in federal court in San Antonio on Thursday and will appear in U.S. District Court for more hearings on a date yet to be determined.
Read the entire story.
One of Hurd's new lawyers says the former Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys receiver plans to plead not guilty this week. Jay Ethington says he and San Antonio attorney Michael McCrum will take over Hurd's case.
Read the entire story.
Hurd, who is set to appear before Judge Jorge A. Solis at the U.S. Courthouse in Dallas, was indicted in early January on federal drug conspiracy and possession charges after he and another man were accused of trying to establish a drug-dealing network.
Read the entire story.
Read the entire story.
2. Epic collapse in Denver: Even without Cutler, the Bears led Denver 10-0 late in the fourth quarter in Week 14. Then the roof caved in. Marion Barber made two horrendous blunders that paved the way for the Bears to get Tebowed in the Mile High City. Some argue the season ended that day.
4. Arrest of wide receiver Sam Hurd: The Bears have dealt with a few legal issues throughout the years, but none on the level of Hurd, who is accused of attempting to arrange weekly purchases of cocaine and marijuana with an intent to distribute. Hurd was cut two days after his arrest, but the damage was done, as the Bears got blown out at home a few days later by the Seattle Seahawks. So much for limiting those late season distractions.
5. Bears waive goodbye to Olin Kreutz: Everybody assumed Kreutz would retire as a member of the Bears. Wrong. After a few days spent negotiating a new deal, the veteran center was given a take it or leave it ultimatum by the club. Kreutz left it, ending a 13-year relationship with the organization. He eventually signed with the New Orleans Saints, but suddenly retired in the middle of the season.
Via ESPNChicago.com, I heard most of the brief news conference Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo held Friday to announce the inevitable and highly warranted decision to waive receiver Sam Hurd. What caught my ear more than anything, however, was Angelo's snappy response when asked if this episode will impact his future with the organization.
"Whistling Dixie," is what it sounded like Angelo said. In other words, you're in fantasy land.
I wonder, however, how Hurd's arrest will weigh on a lifelong football man who never imagined that the acquisition of a No. 5 receiver and special teams contributor would blow up into one of the most embarrassing moments in recent franchise history. By all accounts, Hurd was a well-respected member of the Dallas Cowboys for five seasons and there were few, if any, people around the NFL who would have suspected him of operating a drug distribution ring that undercover federal investigators busted Wednesday night in Chicago.
Angelo downplayed reports this month that he might retire after the season. There are times when sports franchises and private businesses alike oust their top executives at times of extreme crisis, but I don't think this qualifies. If the Bears fire Angelo because he signed a veteran NFL player with no prior history who was later revealed to be a drug dealer, well, that would be a tough blow.
Angelo said Friday that there were "no facts" and "no flags" that "anyone can present tangibly" that would suggest the Bears should have been aware of Hurd's alleged secret life. "We do our homework," Angelo said. "We do our due diligence and we did everything we could possibly do given the information that we can accumulate."
But when you think back just over the past year or so, you recall Angelo explaining a bizarre miscommunication that left tailback Chester Taylor believing he had been released when in fact he was expected at practice. You think of Angelo denying any wrongdoing when a draft-day trade with the Baltimore Ravens broke down without the Ravens realizing it.
Angelo is 62. He has two years remaining on his contract, but you wonder if the Hurd episode is enough to push him over the edge and at least consider retirement. His brief but fierce defense Friday suggested it won't. But perhaps he was the one whistling "Dixie" on that one.
"We're all in a state of shock right now," Toub said after Thursday's practice.
Toub's interest in Hurd on the open market was due to the wide receiver recording 72 special teams tackles over five seasons with the Cowboys. Through 13 games this season, Hurd has eight special teams tackles and a forced fumble.
"He's been very valuable. He's been a four-phase starter for us," Toub said. "He's been the personal protect on punt team. He's been the captain of our punt team. It's going to take a little bit to replace him. We're all shocked, let's leave it at that."
Toub refused to tip his hand as to which exact player replaces Hurd on Sunday against Seattle, saying simply "it will be the next man up."
Just as in Dallas, Hurd's role on offense has been extremely limited. He has eight receptions for 108 yards.
Chicago Bears receiver Sam Hurd was arrested in Chicago on federal drug charges on Wednesday night.
According to Kathy Colvin, the spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Dallas, Hurd allegedly attempted to purchase drugs from a supplier in North Texas, the location of where the case will be adjudicated.
Read the entire story.