NFL Free Agency 2012: Five Players the Chicago Bears Must Target
Heading into free agency, the Bears knew they were going to be active buyers, and new general manager Phil Emery is making his presence felt. They have already traded for stud receiver Brandon Marshall, signed back up QB Jason Campbell, resigned players: Matt Forte, Isreal Idonije, Tim Jennings, and Craig Steltz. It has already been a very productive first week of free agency for the Chicago Bears, but they should not be done dealing. Here are a few players that I would target if I were the Chicago Bears, before the draft. They still have needs at safety, defensive end, offensive line, and a tight end.
Defensive End/ Strong Side Linebacker Kamerion Wimbley
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Last year, the Chicago Bears aggressively pursued Kamerion Wimbley, before he resigned a five-year deal with the Oakland Raiders. On Friday, the Raiders released the veteran, and now the active pass rusher is free to sign with another club. He is the perfect fit for the Bears 4-3 defense, and would be a great addition opposite to Julius Peppers.
The Bears are in the market for a pass rusher, as they looked at Pro Bowl defensive end Mario Williams, before he signed a huge deal with Buffalo. They also looked at Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Jeremy Mincey, before he resigned with the Jaguars earlier this week.
Wimbley would add great versatility to this bears team, as he plays both defensive end and strong side linebacker. If they don't add someone through free agency, then the draft is the most likely where the Bears will find their pass rusher.
Tight End Dallas Clark
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The Chicago Bears must sign a veteran tight end in free agency, and Dallas Clark would be a nice signing. The tight end position was simply non existent in the Bears offense last year, as they had guys like Matt Speath and Kellen Davis splitting time at the position.
With Mike Martz no longer the offensive coordinator here in Chicago, the Bears must sign someone, and free agent Dallas Clark would be a great addition to this team. He is coming off a down year. However, Peyton Manning was not throwing him the ball. Clark might be waiting to see what team signs Manning. However, he would be a perfect fit in this offense, and he would give Jay Cutler another weapon to throw the ball to.
Safety LaRon Landry
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The Chicago Bears had a handful of guys starting at the safety position last year, including guys like Chris Conte, Major Wright, Chris Harris, Craig Steltz, and Brandon Mariweather. More often then not, teams that played the Bears exploited this weakness. The Bears have not had a stud safety since Mike Brown.
Youngsters Chris Conte and Major Wright played well in limited playing time, but it does not hurt to add a veteran player like LaRon Landry. Landry would be a perfect fit for this Bears Defense, and could give Lovie Smith a consistent starter. There are reports saying that the Bears could be in the running for Landry's services, and this would another terrific addition for new GM Phil Emery.
Offensive Guard Anthony Herrera
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The Bears should be in the market for an offensive lineman, and reports have them after free agent guard Anthony Herrera, who would be a nice addition to the Bears. Herrera played for Mike Tice, when Tice was the head coach of the Vikings, so it would make sense as to why Tice would want to add him to this team.
While there are more appealing guys than Herrera on the free agent market, he would add depth to an offensive line that needs it. The Bears will be getting a healthy Chris Williams back, and he played extremely well for them at left guard a season ago, before he went to down with a wrist injury.
Other players I would look at would be, guards Robert Gallery and Jeremy Zuttah.
Running Back Michael Bush
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According to reports, the Bears are in the running for free agent running back Michael Bush. Bush would give the Bears a great back up running back to Matt Forte. Given that Forte could hold out if he is not given a long term deal, Michael Bush would give them a starting running back if Forte does indeed choose to hold out. Bush is currently the top running back available, so it would be interesting to see if he takes a back-up job here in Chicago. Last year the Bears signed Marion Barber, and that did not work out the way the Bears had hoped. It will be interesting to see if Bush signs with the Bears.