Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears have high interest in Phil Loadholt

Minnesota Vikings right tackle Phil Loadholt is a big, intimidating right tackle who finally put things together again last year after poor seasons following his solid rookie campaign. Loadholt was instrumental in helping Adrian Peterson pave the way for an incredible season on the ground, and he has put himself up there with the best right tackles in the game.

The Vikings are still negotiating with Loadholt and would love to have him back, but there is definitely a chance of Loadholt signing with another team. According to the Chicago Tribune, there is a chance Loadholt signs with another team in the NFC North in the Chicago Bears. Per a source, the Bears are “hot on Loadholt”.

The 6’8″, 343 pound tackle from Oklahoma is 27 years old and would be an immense upgrade for the Bears, and the team has struggled to find talent at the tackle position (and on the offensive line as a whole). Loadholt would be a great signing for the Bears, and I am sure it would benefit Matt Forte a great deal. Although pass protection is not his strong suit, the punishing run blocker would still be an upgrade in pass pro at RT for the Bears.

Even if Loadholt ends up re-signing with the Vikings, the Bears could very well hike the price tag for their division rivals, and that would also be something of a victory. But the Bears aren’t involved in signing Loadholt out of that consolation prize; they want to land the real prize. The Vikings are still the “favorites”, but the fact that Loadholt is set to hit the free agent market will make it murkier for the Vikes. They did not franchise him, because they preferred to get a long-term deal done. However, negotiations have gone slower than expected, and that is a huge benefit for teams like the Bears.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter for more NFL updates and analysis @SorianoJoe.

Tags: Chicago Bears Minnesota Vikings Nfl Free Agency Phil Loadholt

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