Fullback McKie was a Bears pillar

Continuing our Tuesday flurry: Chicago parted ways with one of its most professional and respected veterans while also signing a free agent cornerback.

I suppose it shouldn't be a shock considering the Bears' new offensive scheme, but it was still a bit jarring to hear that fullback Jason McKie was released. McKie played seven years for the Bears; center Olin Kreutz was the only offensive player who has been with the organization longer.

New coordinator Mike Martz prefers H-backs and blocking tight ends over fullbacks. Speaking to ESPNChicago.com, McKie said in part: "I pretty much knew when Mike Martz was named offensive coordinator that there wasn't going to be a high priority placed on the fullback position."

Via his Twitter page, McKie said: "I want to thank the Chicago bears for the opportunity of playing for one of the best organizations in the NFL...and I also want to thank all ... of the bears fans for their support it's truly been a blessing...Bear Down and God Bless!!"

Now, on to a more pleasant topic: The Bears reached a two-year agreement with free agent cornerback Tim Jennings, who spent the past four years with Indianapolis. He was a 12-game starter for the Colts as recently as 2008, but was moved to a reserve role last season and the Colts didn't offer him a restricted free agent tender.

In Chicago, it's safe to consider him a candidate for the nickel job.