Bears Free Agent Moves: How Chicago Has Become the Island of Misfit Toys

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Bears Free Agent Moves: How Chicago Has Become the Island of Misfit Toys
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears and GM Jerry Angelo are in a tough spot heading into the 2011 NFL season.

Coming off a trip to the NFC Championship Game would usually serve as a sign that your fortunes are pointing in the right direction, but the Bears are closer to joining the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North cellar than competing with the up-and-coming Detroit Lions and the Super Bowl Champions wearing the "mustard and relish" in Lambeau Field.

With a sub-par offensive line, less than stellar wide receivers and an overall aging team, the Bears needed to make a splash in free agency to prove to their players and fans that there was still faith in the current roster to compete against the increasingly dominant NFC. Perhaps sign a top-notch wide receiver or enter the race for Nnamdi Asomugha to help shore up a weak secondary to improve the pass rush.

The money was there. The Bears entered this shortened free agency as one of several teams with over $20 million to spend on free agents based on the new salary cap figures. Jerry Angelo simply needed to be aggressive and find the pieces to complete his team and ignite a city that is football starved.

Instead, the Bears went bargain shopping.

Roy Williams, Sam Hurd, Marion Barber, Matt Spaeth, Vernon Gholston... players who were either considered "busts" by their previous teams or had played well past their prime.

Let's take a look at the members of the Chicago Island of Misfit Players.

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