With Free Agency set to begin in just a few days, many have expected the Chicago Bears to be in the market for Offensive Linemen, in an effort to repair their biggest weakness in protecting Bears QB Jay Cutler. While many Bears fans (myself included) have all been screaming for a new LT, right now at least it seems the Bears are focused on fixing the OL from the inside-out, as news broke earier in the week that they are interested in Jets OG Brandon Moore. As Michael Wright of ESPN Chicago reported:
Past issues in protection indicate the Chicago Bears could be looking at offensive tackle in free agency or the draft, but the club has actually explored the possibility of bringing in an interior offensive lineman in New York Jets veteran guard Brandon Moore, according to an NFL source.
Now, his age could be a slight negative, as he will be 33 years old by the time next season rolls in. On the other hand, he has been a great OL in general for the Jets, being named to the Pro Bowl in 2011 and has not missed a game since 2003. Plus, his age could allow the Bears to structure a cap friendly deal, provided the Bears don’t make any moves between now and Free Agency to open up cap space. The Chicago Bears currently have less than $4 mil after slapping the Franchise Tag on Pro Bowl DT Henry Melton.
Another Player the Bears have been reported to show interest in, is Pittsburgh Steelers OG Ramon Foster, in which the news was Tweeted by Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun Times:
Although a lesser known player than say Brandon Moore, he is considerably younger than said player, given how Foster is 27 years old, compared to 32 turning 33 in June. He’s also had some solid experience with the Steelers, starting 30 games in his last 2 seasons with the Steelers. Plus, if you like your OL big and nasty, then this is the player for you, as he comes in at 6’6″, 325 lbs compared to Moore, who is 6’3″, 305 lbs. Now, size doesn’t always matter as far as OL are concerned, but Bears OC and OL coach Aaron Kromer has coached an OL in New Orleans which normally featured some pretty big players in the interior, including current Bucs LG and former Saint Carl Nicks (6’5″, 349lbs) and current Saints RG Jahri Evans (6’4″ 318 lbs). Given his young age and current experience, he may not be that big named player who everyone wants that would command such a huge salary, rather, he would provide to the Bears an adequate prospect who could be coached into a staple in the Bears interior for years to come.
Regardless whether they play Center, Guard, or Tackle, the Chicago Bears need to repair their OL if they want any hope of building a strong offense for Jay Cutler to thrive in. Another player that the Bears may have an eye on, is Saints LT Jermon Bushrod, who could be interested in following his position coach onto a team dedicated on a win-now setting. However, the Bears currently have not made any moves aimed at freeing up some money in order to make a run at a real upgrade in the LT position such as Jermon Bushrod, so, the Bears may instead choose to beef up the interior, then look at the draft to add a talented prospect for Aaron Kromer to coach up. Of course, right now the top priority for the Bears seems to be bringing Brian Urlacher back next season, which will cost some cash, but not nearly as much as he used to cost.
Anything can happen between now and March 12, so for all NFL fans especially Bears fans, stay tuned…