Found February 18, 2013 on Midway Illustrated:
The Chicago Bears have a need in free agency, they need to start to rebuild the offensive line and the perfect place to start would be by signing free agent center Brian de la Puente from the Saints.  The center from New Orleans represents an ideal fit for the Bears for a number of different reasons which I will list here.  First the Bears have a need at the center position, Roberto Garza is entering the final year of his contract and he'll be 34-years-old in March.  Garza was one of the better offensive linemen on the team in 2012, but that shouldn't matter when considering de la Puente.  The Bears have a right guard problem, Lance Louis is going to be fighting back from reconstructive knee surgery, Garza has experience playing right guard meaning if the Bears grab de la Puente, Garza can slide over.  Garza sliding back over to right guard while Louis heals next season would provide instant stability to the offensive line at a much needed point in time.  His experience there is invaluable so it would be a favorable position for the Bears to be in while  Louis recovers.  Next de la Puente is a third-year starting center from the New Orleans Saints who knows Kromer's offense.  He knows Kromer's terminology, the line calls and all of the responsibilities that Garza currently does not know.  This automatically make him a huge upgrade at the position because of his  youth and familiarity with Kromer.  The most important position on the offensive line is the center position after the offensive tackle spots because they are the anchors of the offensive line with their knowledge and communication needed to get people in the right place.  De La Puente already has this skill from his time with Kromer, which no rookie would have.  The Bears would be foolish to entrust a rookie with this responsibility and Kromer being a third-year player means the Bears could sign him to a long-term deal. Further, de la Puente graded out as the highest rated center on the free agent market this year with a plus 23.0 rating according to ProFootballFocus.  He only had two games on the season in which he graded out negatively according to their metrics.  While de la Puente is only a restricted free agent this should not deter the Bears from pursuing him in free agency.  The Saints have the right to match any offer sheet the Bears can offer him, but would not be due any compensation for de la Puente because  he was an undrafted free agent coming out of college.  Teams are not due any compensation for any undrafted players according the parameters laid out by the restricted free agency terms.  The Bears also would be smart to give de la Puente a strong deal because the New Orleans Saints have the second worst salary cap situation of any team in the NFL.  By giving de la  Puente a strong free agency deal the Bears would have a better chance to pluck him away as a free agent.  Signing de la Puente would instantaneously allow the Bears to focus on drafting a left guard in the draft.  Two veteran presences to the left and to the right of a rookie left guard position would put that rookie in the best possible position to learn.  Offensive lines are much more stable as a whole if a rookie is targeted at left guard to play next to an experienced center who knows the offensive system.  With everything considered signing Brian de la Puente to be the starting center just makes entirely too much sense.  A good young player who knows the system with no requirement to give up compensation if the Bears sign him.  Phil Emery would be a fool not to make Brian de la Puente the top off-season priority to sign on the open free agent market.

5 free agents the Chicago Bears should pursue

The Chicago Bears were one of the more disappointing teams during the 2012 NFL campaign. After all the preseason hype following a flurry of offseason acquisitions, the Bears failed to live up to expectations and missed the playoffs for the second straight season. Ultimately, it was the team’s underachievement that led to the firing of head coach Lovie Smith and subsequent departure...

Restructuring Julius Peppers is the key for Bears to be players in free agent market

The Chicago Bears are roughly $9 million under the cap; however, if they use the franchise tag, that number will drop dramatically. The Bears can restructure Julius Peppers' contract and they would free up about $6 million in space. According to Brad Briggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears have done this before with Peppers and it may be the case again. Briggs writes: ...

Which quarterback should the Chicago Bears draft?

Before you get up in arms about the title, let me make this clear: this is not an article proposing that the Bears should pick a quarterback in the 1st round of this year’s draft to replace Jay Cutler. If the Bears take a quarterback at all, it will be with one of their later selections in the 4th, 5th, 6th, or even 7th rounds. No quarterback taken that late will challenge for...

Bears Could Approach DE Julius Peppers About Restructuring His Contract

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Chicago Bears could approach DE Julius Peppers about restructuring his current contract that will pay him a sizable base salary of $12.9 million for the 2013 season. Peppers currently counts $16.3 million against the team’s salary cap and is under contract for another three season with base salaries of $13.9 million and...

Bears may place the franchise tag on Henry Melton

According to the Chicago Tribune, there’s a good chance the Bears will place the franchise tag on defensive tackle Henry Melton this week. NFL teams have from Monday through March 4 to apply the franchise tag in advance of free agency and the start of the new league year March 12. Barring a multi-year contract for Melton, it seems like a good bet general manager Phil Emery will...

Mayock: Bears must go O-line in 1st round

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock says the Chicago Bears should be targeting four offensive linemen when it's their turn to pick at 20th overall.

Sweetness’ Kid Brittney Payton Becoming Media Star

If you don’t know the name Brittney Payton, you soon will. The offspring of the greatest Chicago Bears player in history, Walter Payton, is keeping the family name in the spotlight. Brittney Payton WGN-TV and CLTV present Chicago’s Best – a weekly half-hour food and lifestyle program celebrating the best the Windy City has to offer. On Brittney’s Facebook page she writes...

Hold ‘em or Fold ‘em: Israel Idonije

For the second offseason in a row, Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije is set to become a free agent. Should the team re-sign the veteran or let the 32-year-old walk?

Holde ‘em or Fold ‘em: Kelvin Hayden

Should the Chicago Bears re-sign cornerback Kelvin Hayden, who served as the club’s nickelback for much of 2012, or let the seven-year veteran walk in free agency?

Bears Kicker Robbie Gould Marrying His Waitress At Harry Caray’s; Wedding Registry

Bears kicker Robbie Gould, who made his Busted Coverage debut way back in 2008 via a booze-fueled Cabo trip with a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, is getting married this Saturday. Gould found the lucky woman, Lauren Cozzi, as you’d expect – at a bar. Gould told a Chicago Internet site last year that he met his bride via the old fashioned way. Are you single or seeing anyone? I’m...

Dan Hawkins Is The New Head Chef In Montreal

((HT: FoxSports)) The Montreal Alouettes have named Dan Hawkins their new head coach- replacing Marc Trestman, who is now coach for the Chicago Bears. All Trestman did was take the Als to back-to-back Grey Cup titles in 2009 and '10 and was named the CFL's coach of the year in '09. Hawkins last coaching gig was at Colorado where he flamed out gloriously- going 19...

Bischoff: Bears TEs must create stress

New Chicago Bears tight ends coach Andy Bischoff is bringing a different philosophy to the position than did his predecessors, with an emphasis on dynamic pass catchers.
NFL 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
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.