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Monday, February 23, 2009
Black and Blue all over: Vasher's future


Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

We're back at NFC North headquarters after four fruitful days at the NFL's annual scouting combine. Yes, we had a nice trip Sunday night, thanks for asking.

Over the course of this week, I'll trickle out some remaining tidbits I gathered and also start looking ahead to the start of what is likely to be a quiet free-agency period. (Few players available = few bidding wars.)

But first, let's take a look at the top stories Monday morning in the NFC North, beginning with Vaughn McClure's conversation with Chicago cornerback Nate Vasher in the Chicago Tribune.

It's only fair to wonder about Vasher's future with the Bears after an injury-plagued season in 2008. General manager Jerry Angelo said over the weekend that Vasher "needs to be a better player." The Bears have a minicamp scheduled for the middle of March, and there's no certainty that Vasher will make it to training camp.

Vasher: "I don't feel like I'm above the rumors or speculation, just like any other player this offseason. But I'm still here. Nobody has told me anything."

It seems unlikely the Bears would make a move with Vasher before minicamp. He figures to compete with Corey Graham for a starting job opposite Charles Tillman, but shoulder surgery likely will keep Tillman out of the minicamp. That will give the Bears plenty of opportunities to determine whether they think Vasher can rebound from his down year.

Continuing around the division: