Found March 23, 2013 on Midway Illustrated:
As has previously been reported the Chicago Bears' salary cap situation is precarious and the Bears don't have a lot of room left to sign most of their own free agents.   The Bears front office is now focusing its efforts on finding veteran minimum level players who are attempting to reclaim their careers in the NFL.  The Bears have signed defensive end Turk McBride, tight end Steve Maneri linebacker DJ Williams and safety Tom Zbikowski to veteran minimum contracts.  None of those players have been even remotely competent as players over the last two seasons and are the types of player the Bears will focus on moving forward. Essentially the salary cap situation is relegating the Bears to filling roles within their teams with players that exist at the bottom of the barrel.  Key role players like DJ Moore, Israel Idonije, Nick Roach, Geno Hayes, and Kelvin Hayden are being allowed to test the market and if they're getting anything other than the veteran minimum offer from other teams, they're gone.  The likelihood that the Bears are going to be able to keep a key contributor like Israel Idonije remains slim to none.  Idonije's versatility is prized and he comes at a relatively cheap price for most teams in the NFL.  The Bears however can't afford even a player that is as bargain rated as Idonije.  With Idonije likely not returning the onus will be on second-year defensive end Shea McClellin to step up and fill the void  he struggled to fill in 2012, the third DE role.  McClellin now has to become a legitimate third defensive end for the Bears during the 2013 season otherwise the Bears risk falling back into the problem they faced in 2011 when Julius Peppers was forced to play 87.9-percent of the defensive snaps.  Also that year Idonije took over 80-percent of the snaps and as a result between Idonije and Peppers they combined for a meager 3.5 sacks over the final seven games of the 2011 season.  This much is certain, the Bears will know  immediately if Shea McClellin is a first round bust or not during the 2013 season.  This type of strategy is going to severely test the Bears depth over the 2013 season.  While the Bears may seem to be taking a win it all approach from a public standpoint, the roster they're putting together behind closed doors hammers home that this team will be a rebuilding project sooner rather than later.  Phil Emery's draft strategy is even more apparent as the Bears will likely be desperate to trade down in the NFL draft to accumulate more than the five picks they have in the NFL draft.  Emery is going to be hard pressed to pick up a third round draft choice to make up the pick that he traded away for Brandon  Marshall.  With the draft a mere 33 days away we can now begin to narrow down the list of players the Bears are likely to target in rounds one and two.   The focus seems to be focusing on offensive guards, and linebackers which remain the two biggest needs on the 2013 roster.  The Bears are also likely to look hard at adding CB depth and wide receiver depth with Marc Trestman insisting that Devin Hester will solely focus on his return duties.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Bears sign LB James Anderson

The Chicago Bears announced today that they’ve signed free agent linebacker James Anderson to a one-year contract. The 29 year-old Anderson has played his entire career with the Panthers and recorded 73 tackles last season.     Need NFL Tickets? var _CI = _CI || {}; (function() { var script = document.createElement('script'); ref = document.getElementsByTagName('...

The Chicago Bears made ‘the right move’ clipping the great Brian Urlacher

Quizzed by the Chicago Sun Times, 12-of-13 NFL executives agreed that the one-year deal for $2 million the Bears offered free agent middle linebacker Brian Urlacher was fair. The 34-year-old Urlacher, Chicago’s pick out of the University of New Mexico with the ninth selection in the 2000 NFL Draft, reportedly refused to agree to a contract worth less than $3.5 million for the 2013...

Zbikowski signs deal with Bears

The Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract with safety Tom Zbikowski. The Bears announced the signing Saturday. The Notre Dame alum and professional boxer has appeared in 64 games with 25 starts over five seasons with Indianapolis in 2012 and with Baltimore from 2008 to 2011. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Zbikowski recorded 89 tackles, three interceptions, eight pass break...

For Bears, Brian Urlacher’s Departure Is Necessary

I haven’t talked to many Chicago Bears fans who feel overjoyed that the Bears are parting ways with long-time middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. Yet despite any hard feelings fans may have for the decision, letting go of Urlacher was necessary for the Bears to move forward. It’s undeniable that Urlacher will go down as one of the best linebackers to ever play for the Bears, which...

Bears Sign D.J. Williams To Replace Brian Urlacher

The Brian Urlacher era is officially over now that the Bears have found his temporary replacement.  USA Today is reporting that the Bears have signed former Broncos middle linebacker D.J. Williams to a one year deal. The deal gives Williams a $900,000 base salary with up to $850,000 in incentives, Williams told USA TODAY Sports’ Lindsay Jones in a text message Friday. The 30...

Chicago Bears sign TE Martellus Bennett

Martellus Bennett might not have been as good of a receiver as Eli Manning made him look last year. Eli has made tight ends like Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard look better than they were before. However, he’s athletic and should still be able to produce as a receiver, even if he doesn’t match the 55 catches for 626 yards and 5 touchdowns he had last season. He’s also a phenomenal...

Report: Cardinals not interested in Brian Urlacher

One thing we know is that Brian Urlacher won’t ever play for the Chicago Bears again. The question now is, where will he play in 2013? According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, the Arizona Cardinals aren’t interested in fUrlacher, so you can take them off the list of possible landing spots. We now know both the Vikings and Cardinals don’t want Urlacher.  I don’t...

Bears agree to deal with LB Anderson

The Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract with former Carolina Panthers linebacker James Anderson, the latest move in a major overhaul at the position. The deal announced Sunday comes two days after they signed D.J. Williams from Denver to replace Brian Urlacher. They had announced they were unable to reach an agreement with the eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker....

Anthony “Spice” Adams releases a funny retirement video

Former Bears and 49ers defensive tackle Anthony Adams was busy making hilarious YouTube videos during the 2012 season as he looked for a new team. Unfortunately Adams wasn’t able to catch on with anyone and has decided to retire.  Check out his retirement video below. H/T Black Sports Online   Need NFL Tickets? var _CI = _CI || {}; (function() { var script = document.createElement...

Bears sign D.J. Williams to replace Urlacher

According to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears have signed former Broncos’ linebacker D.J. Williams to take over for Brian Urlacher. Williams was a heck of a player in Denver before he found trouble.  The Bears are now giving him a chance to turn things around. Williams, 30, was cut by the Broncos after a season in which he faced two suspensions, a six game suspension...

Browns add TE Kellen Davis

According to Nate Ulrich if the Akron Beacon-Journal, the Cleveland Browns ave signed former Bears’ tight end Kellen Davis. Davis is a solid player that is known more for his blocking.  He recorded 19 receptions for 229 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2012.     Need NFL Tickets? var _CI = _CI || {}; (function() { var script = document.createElement('script'); ref = document...
Bears News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.