Chicago Bears free agent rundown

A month before NFL free agency begins, the Chicago Bears are not only reviewing other teams potential free agents, but self-scouting their own club and deciding on who they want to bring back.

With that in mind, here’s the list of Bears free agents and some comments on their future in Chicago.

Pos Player
QB Matt Blanchard….Second-year developmental prospect previous staff liked. Could be invited to training camp with opportunity for number three spot.
QB Jason Campbell….didn’t turn out like he envisioned. Signed one-year deal hoping to show teams he was still starter caliber. Will probably shop around and see what the market is. Bears may not want to invest big money in a backup. Less than 50% chance he’ll be back.
QB Josh McCown….another veteran, journeyman QB. Could be asked back under right circumstances, depending on what the Bears do at backup spot. Good teammate in the locker room.
RB Armando Allen….Allen won a spot on roster with strong pre-season, but sputtered in limited chances. Nothing more than a third down option. Bears can probably find younger, more talented option. At best, a training camp body who will have to standout to make club again.
WR Joe Anderson…Intriguing, raw, big receiver. Impressed in camp, and when added to the roster late in year, on special teams. Huge target, soft hands, and some run after catch abillity. Anderson could have a future, if not with Bears, someplace else.
WR Johnny Knox…would be a feel good story after missing all of 2012 due to spinal injury suffered late in 2011 season. Still hopeful, but conventional wisdom says its highly unlikely he’ll ever get back on the field.
WR Devin Thomas….left Bears late in camp and said he was retiring. Must have had change of heart…signed with Lions.
PK Olindo Mare….emergency leg hired when Robbie Gould went down. Probably time for Mare to call it a career. Lost leg strength from his younger days.
OT Jonathan Scott….veteran tackel signed just prior to start of the regular season. Got on the field as a starter midway through the year and performed well. If price is right, could be brought back for veteran’s minimum on one-year deal.
OG Lance Louis….arguably Bears best offensive lineman before he went down with knee injury. Was rounding into form as a solid NFL guard. Athletic, strong, and plays with good leverage. Should be re-signed, but Bears could have competition. Check health.
OG Chilo Rachal…Quit on Bears late in the year. Locker room cancer. Buyer beware.
OG Chris Spencer…veteran who’s better served as a backup. Bears should be able to find a replacement. Spencer has played his best ball.
DL Israel Idonije…Versatile d-lineman who can provide solid run defense and occasional best rush. Better situated in a backup role on the interior. Productivity trending downward, but could re-sign to a favorable deal.
DL Henry Melton…Emerging DT who is still on upward climb. Quick, strong, and athletic. Bears will face plenty of competition for his services. Fresh from first Pro Bowl, Melton needs to become more consistent in his play. He’d like to stay in Chicago, so guess is something will be worked out.
DL Amobi Okoye…spare part. Bears will move on.
DL Cheta Ozougwu….see above.
LB Geno Hayes…veteran defender. Bears need more, and better depth at LB. Hayes is expendable.
LB Nick Roach….steady veteran who played well in 2012. May have a couple solid years left, but Bears need to replenish talent at this position with younger, more talented prospects.
LB Brian Urlacher….HUGE question. Do Bears bring back the face of the franchise? Urlacher’s health, age, playmaking ability make this a tough call. Guess is he’ll be back on a one-year deal, but everyone is expendable, so it wouldn’t shock if Bears move on.
CB Zackary Bowman…make some plays late on special teams after returning to club. Bears need better depth and younger players at CB than Bowman.
CB Kelvin Hayden…Hayden was ok, but nothing spectacular. Could see him brought back on a short-term deal, but he will be challenged to make club.
CB D.J. Moore….Moore faded under previous regime in the last two years. He’s small, but has demonstrated good instincts and playmaking skills. Appeared to lose confidence and become tentative last season. Still has a future…perhaps new coaching staff can get him back on right track.
FS Anthony Walters…Walters has size and striking ability. He’ll be a training camp body, but will need to stand out to make the club. Last year’s third round pick, Brandon Hardin, will return from injury and provide stiff competition.

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