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Thursday, March 8, 2012
Shortage of cornerbacks in Chicago

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Just for the heck of it, we posted our annual free-agency primer earlier Thursday. ESPNChicago.com posted a Chicago Bears-centric preview for next week's activities as well.

In reviewing both posts, I think it's fair to say that the Bears are approaching a bigger transition at cornerback than many of us have considered. Three of the Bears' top five players at the position appear set to depart, based on ESPNChicago.com's analysis.

If nothing changes, Tim Jennings, Zack Bowman and Corey Graham will all enter the free agent market next Tuesday. If any of the three have had serious contract negotiations with the Bears, the news hasn't been confirmed or reported.

Regardless, the Bears have only two veteran cornerbacks under contract for 2012: Charles Tillman and D.J. Moore. Tillman is signed through 2013, while Moore is entering the final year of his original rookie contract.

Do the Bears think Moore is ready to start after two years as their nickel back? Will they target a veteran free agent and/or seek a cornerback higher in the draft than early mock drafts have suggested? I'm sure those questions, and more, will be posted to new general manager Phil Emery the next time he makes himself available to the Chicago media.