BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears free agent center Olin Kreutz skipped the team's reporting day Friday as talks continue between his agent and the team, according to a source close to the situation.
ESPNChicago.com reported that the San Francisco 49ers have emerged as a serious threat to end Kreutz's 13-year run in Chicago.
The 49ers sent Kreutz a contract proposal Wednesday night, a source said. Although the Bears and the center have talked numbers, the source said Chicago's offer doesn't reflect how important his leadership is to the team.
"It would hurt," Bears safety Chris Harris said Thursday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "Olin is the team leader. He's that guy. He's been around the league for I think 13 seasons, he's very well respected, probably the most respected person in our locker room.
"Olin, he's a smart guy, he's very smart. You gotta be to play center, making all the checks. They are really a close group on the offensive line. It's like really cliché -- one for all and all for one, but that is our offensive line, and he is the leader of the offensive line. I really would hate to see him leave. I really want to see him back."
Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.