If you're listening to our friends over at ESPN 1000, you know that soon-to-be former Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow said Monday that the Chicago Bears at least explored the possibility of trading for him last month. The natural follow-up: Now that Winslow has been told he won't be with the Bucs this season, do the Bears still have interest?
ESPNChicago.com colleague Jeff Dickerson told "Waddle & Silvy" that the "odds of him coming to Chicago are pretty slim," considering the Bears' decision to spend a fourth-round draft pick on tight end Evan Rodriguez. Kellen Davis, whom coach Lovie Smith has high hopes for, remains on the roster, as does backup Matt Spaeth.
So does the group of Davis, Spaeth and Rodriguez render Winslow unnecessary for the Bears? I wouldn't call tight end an urgent position of need, but I would say that Winslow is more proven and a better downfield threat than anyone in the Bears' existing group.
Winslow, 28, has caught 218 passes while playing in all 48 games over the past three seasons for the Bucs. He is an extreme talent but one who has now worn out his welcome at two NFL stops.
The Bears have been aggressive in their first offseason under new general manager Phil Emery, and it's not at all surprising to hear they expressed interest in Winslow last month. Now that Winslow has reported the Bucs' plan to part ways, the Bears almost certainly will have the opportunity to acquire him more cheaply and safely as a free agent. Offensive coordinator Mike Tice is a former NFL tight end who still loves what the position means for an offense. The Bears and Winslow might not be an obvious match, but it's one worth considering nonetheless.