Bears

Moon: Will the Bears pursue Shaun Rogers?

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Moon: Will the Bears pursue Shaun Rogers?

Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011
Posted 10:25 a.m. Updated 2:30 p.m.
By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

The Cleveland Browns created a bit of a ripple when they released defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, who becomes an immediate unrestricted free agent by virtue of having at least four years of service.

The Bears are looking (always) to fortify the defensive line and Rogers has been a force throughout his 10 seasons. But the Bears making a play for Rogers would be a major surprise, for multiple reasons.

Rogers is a master at blocking kicks (ask long snapper Pat Mannelly) and at controlling areas on the line of scrimmage. But he is a classic two-gap tackle in the mold of Ted Washington when he was a Bear or Pat Williams in Minnesota, rather than a fit for a one-gap scheme similar to the one espoused by Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli.

Rogers controls blockers so linebackers can run and make tackles, meaning that Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher would no doubt go pick him up at the airport if he were coming. But his days as a rush threat are past, and the Bears are looking for more impact inside than theyve gotten from Tommie Harris and Marcus Harrison at this point.

Look for a trickle of players onto the market in the next couple of weeks before the Mar. 3 expiration of the collective bargaining agreement. But dont look for teams to rush into signings, of their own or others players, given the uncertain state of negotiations. No need to add players until theres more indication when and where the season is going.

More important, nearly 500 players are poised to hit the free-agency markets. It will be a buyers market, much to the disappointment of more than a few players.

Theres a lesson here...

Really nice to see former Bears center Jerry Fontenot and wifeStephanie at the Eggshell Caf in Northbrook Thursday. Jerry, one ofthe class individuals Ive had the pleasure to know and cover with thisteam, had that unmistakable glow that only comes from winning a SuperBowl, which he just helped the Green Bay Packers accomplish lastweekend as their assistant offensive line coach.

I did get to actually hold the trophy, for a little while, Jerry said, laughing. On the bus.

Jerry, who succeeded Jay Hilgenberg over the ball in 92, played 239games for the Bears, New Orleans Saints and Cincinnati Bengals, and hewas the Saints starting center when Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy wasNew Orleans offensive coordinator. Hes looking great and is having aball with a very, very good young offensive line up in Green Bay.

Best Jerry story: I happened to see Jerry, a good friend of actor BillPeterson (CSI, To Live and Die in L.A. and more), one evening up inPlatteville during a training camp. I think it was at the Dairy Queenthere on Rte. 151. He looked shaky.

You OK? I asked.

Oh, man, he said, shaking his head. Stephanies pregnant and I just took her to see the movie Seven.

Now, if youve seen Seven and remember how it ends, youll feel for Jerry.

Great guy. Good to see Stephanie and him doing well.

Lesson: Make sure you check out movie details before taking your lovely wife to one.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

With Leonard Floyd going on injured reserve, will the Bears have a pressing need at outside linebacker in 2018?

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USA TODAY

With Leonard Floyd going on injured reserve, will the Bears have a pressing need at outside linebacker in 2018?

The Bears placed Leonard Floyd on injured reserve Thursday morning, ending the second-year outside linebacker’s season following a knee injury suffered Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Floyd suffered an MCL and PCL injury and will have surgery in the next week, coach John Fox said, and the Bears do not have a timetable for his recovery yet. But that Floyd didn't suffer damage to his ACL is potentially good news for Floyd's recovery timetable. 

Still, with Floyd on injured reserve and out for the season, the Bears’ current outside linebacker depth chart consists of two veterans (Pernell McPhee and Sam Acho) and two practice squad signees (Isaiah Irving and Howard Jones). These final six games of the 2017 season could serve as auditions for all four players for roles on the 2018 Bears. 

If every team needs at least three good pass rushers, the Bears can count on Akiem Hicks and Floyd for 2018, provided Floyd comes back healthy. But who’s the third?

The Bears could save about $7.5 million in cap space if they release McPhee in 2018; if they were to cut ties with Willie Young, who’s on injured reserve right now as well, it would provide $4.5 million in cap relief. McPhee will be 29 in December, while Young will turn 33 next September. 

The Bears won’t necessarily need the cap relief next year, and could certainly decide to keep both players, who’ve shown they’re still productive when healthy. But even if both players are back, the Bears may need to add another outside linebacker via free agency of the draft — remember, the team could’ve began the season with Floyd, Young, McPhee, Acho and Lamarr Houston as their outside linebackers; an injury Houston suffered in the fourth preseason game ended his time in Chicago. 

Needs at wide receiver and cornerback are pressing, but outside linebacker may need to be in that same conversation. If the Bears have a top-10 pick for the fourth consecutive year, plus some cap space, they perhaps could have the ability to address all three needs in March and April. 

That may be looking a little too far into the future, though. The best-case for the Bears is McPhee finishes the season strong and Irving and/or Jones shows something in the opportunities they receive in these final six games (Jones, for what it’s worth, had five sacks as a rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015). But the worst-case — and perhaps the most realistic — is that the Bears go into the offseason needing to fill at least one pass-rushing spot. 

Under Center Podcast: Can Mitch Trubisky follow Carson Wentz’s path to stardom?

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Under Center Podcast: Can Mitch Trubisky follow Carson Wentz’s path to stardom?

JJ Stankevitz and John “Moon” Mullin are joined by NBC Sports Philadelphia Eagles reporter Dave Zangaro to offer an encouraging connection between Carson Wentz’s growth and that of Mitchell Trubisky.

Check out the entire podcast here: