Friday, July 29, 2011
BBAO: Bears' big WR is Roy Williams*
By Kevin Seifert
We're Black and Blue All Over:
I guess we can't be surprised that between the hours of 11 p.m. ET and 7 a.m. ET, we had another significant free-agent agreement here in the NFC North. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Chicago Bears will sign free-agent receiver Roy Williams, who was recently released by the Dallas Cowboys.
Free agents can officially sign their contracts with teams starting at 6 p.m. ET Friday. They'll be able to report to training camp and attend classroom sessions and meetings but can't be on the practice field until Aug. 4.
*Update: ESPN.com has amended the story to note that Williams can't technically agree to terms yet because he has not shown up on the NFL waiver wire. That will happen Friday afternoon. I'm guessing it's a matter of semantics, but by rule no deal can be complete.
Williams is a rare combination: A big receiver who gets the seal of approval from offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who typically prefers smaller-sized receivers. Williams played two seasons under Martz when both were with the Detroit Lions, and they were the two most productive years of Williams' career.
We'll have to see where he is mentally and physically four years later but, Bears fans, after years of discussion, your team finally has a big receiver.
I'll have more a bit later Friday morning.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Writing on the Bears' trade of tight end Greg Olsen, Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com notes: "You don't bring in [Mike] Martz to blend in." Fair point.
- Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune thinks the Bears wasted Olsen's talents: "The Bears drafted a thoroughbred and tried to turn him into a plow horse. That's so Bears."
- Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times writes about "the Jay Cutler you don't know."
- The Detroit Lions will do a lot of "adjusting and improving" during training camp this season, according to coach Jim Schwartz via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
- Schwartz on outside expectations, via Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com: "That can be distracting for some teams, that can be distracting for some players. It's our job as leaders of the team to make sure that doesn't happen."
- The Lions have agreed to a one-year contract with cornerback Eric Wright, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
- Green Bay Packers linebacker Brandon Chillar suffered a serious hamstring injury during the offseason and his status for 2011 is unclear, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel: "It's doubtful any team in the National Football League has a trio of running backs with the height, weight and shredded physiques to compare with Ryan Grant, James Starks and rookie Alex Green."
- The Packers expect to elevate Morgan Burnett back into his starting safety role this season, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
- The Minnesota Vikings have been linked to negotiations with a number of free-agent receivers, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
- Mark Craig of the Star Tribune examines the Vikings' predicament with tailback Adrian Peterson.
- Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press looks at the receivers the Vikings might pursue.