Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPNChicago.com reporter Jeff Dickerson stops by to chat about the Chicago Bears.
Dickerson is a Bears beat reporter and weeknight host on ESPN 1000.
Send your questions now and join Dickerson Monday at 1 p.m. ET/noon CT!
Jeff Dickerson (1:00 PM)
Josh (Southside Chicago)
Did Phil Emery spend any time in the CIA, or are you not allowed to talk about it?
Jeff Dickerson (1:02 PM)
Ha! The Bears are covert, no doubt about it, but it's because they feel like it gives them an advantage. And to some extent, it does. Phil Emery is no different than 99% of the other NFL GMs.
What are the neighborhoods in Chicago that are near Halas Hall? Any chance I can stay in Tom Waddle's guest house for awhile?
Jeff Dickerson (1:03 PM)
If you're lucky. Waddle's garage is nicer than my house.
Darryl (Winnipeg, MB, Canada)
Are the Bears out on Levitre? It seems most of the chatter is going towards other teams with more cap room.
Jeff Dickerson (1:04 PM)
I don't believe the Bears are going to make a run at the top guards like Levitre or Vasquez. Think second rung guys. I'm starting to wonder if Brandon Moore will be out of their price range.
Looks like Emery won't do much in free agency. It's midday Monday and no player cuts or contract restuctures announced for a team with little cap room. What's the logic at Halas Hall?!? Surely this team has a lot of needs on the OL, LB, TE....that all can't be addressed with 5 draft picks.
Jeff Dickerson (1:08 PM)
First of all, the Bears have until Tuesday at 3 p.m. to make a couple of moves if necessary to free up space if they want to have all that done by the start of free agency. But the larger point is that they just don't have a ton of money to spend. That's what happens when you draft poorly over the years. You have to spend money on free agents, and end up with Julius Peppers eating up $16.383 million in cap space. You could sign 3 of 4 really good players for that amont of money. I'm not saying the Bears should get rid of Peppers, but that's reality. And no, I don't believe the Bears can address all their needs in one offseason.
Jeffersonville in. [via mobile]
What Offense of lineman do you see them picking up in free agency
Jeff Dickerson (1:11 PM)
Honestly, a lower level guard that still represents an upgrade over last year. If they can make it work, the Bears would love to land a free agent OT. But those cost money. I don't know if the Bears are in a position to go after those guys, but I'm sure they'll try. They could always take an OT at No. 20 in the draft.
What are some REALISTIC Interior O-lineman that the bears could target?
Jeff Dickerson (1:12 PM)
I've been a fan of Brandon Moore, but I don't know if the Bears can afford him. But he would be great. Further down the line is Kevin Boothe and Ramon Foster, to name a few.
Peter (New Jersey)
What is the status of safety Brandon Hardin? Will he be ready by training camp?
Jeff Dickerson (1:13 PM)
I believe so. The Bears used a 3rd round pick on Hardin last year. It would be nice to see a return on that investment.
Tim Miller (Endwell, NY)
Are the Bears really interested in Welker?
Jeff Dickerson (1:16 PM)
Again, that's a ton of money for a player at a position where the Bears already have Brandon Marshall, spent a 2nd round pick on Alshon Jeffery and are paying Earl Bennett $2,350,000 (that includes his workout bonus) this upcoming season. I don't see it. Welker should stay in NE. He's got a good thing going there.
Will Hester be traded?
Jeff Dickerson (1:17 PM)
I don't think so. What I hear is that new Bears special teams coach Joe DeCamillis loves him and that Hester is content to be a return man. Now, it could change, but at the moment, I don't expect Hester to be moved or released.
los angeled [via mobile]
How will a backfield combo of Reggie Bush/Matt Forte and a star receiv/tight end(any) benefit the bears offense?
Jeff Dickerson (1:20 PM)
I think the Bears would be all for a star TE to emerge on the roster, but they already have a Bush in the backfield to compliment Forte. His name is Michael Bush. You probably forgot about him because the Bears barely used him last year. Bush got a $4,000,000 signing bonus last offseason. It's time for the Bears to get him more snaps on offense.
T. Hopkins (Las Cruces)
Any news on Urlacher being re-signed after his proposed terms?
Jeff Dickerson (1:21 PM)
Last we heard the Bears had not responded to Urlacher's contract proposal. I imagine we'll find out something before the league year begins tomorrow.
Josh (South Carolina)
Have you heard of any possible landing spots for Urlacher if the Bears don't work out a deal with him?
Jeff Dickerson (1:21 PM)
I can think of two places: Dallas and Washington.
Seeing in some of the predictions Tyler Effiert might be drafted. I'd like to say I'm a fan of that, especially over the dismal play of Davis. Thoughts?
Jeff Dickerson (1:24 PM)
Tyler Eifert is a going to be a really good NFL player, in my opinion. Let's say there are no OL left on the board worthy of being selected at No. 20 when the Bears go on the clock, I would consider Eifert. Why not? And he'd be a lot cheaper than spending money in free agency on the Jared Cooks of the world.
8.5m for Melton, while a nice young player, seems a bit high when there are so many other needs on this team @ OL, LB, DB and WR. Thoughts?
Jeff Dickerson (1:24 PM)
Agreed. Don't like that $8.45 million cap number for Henry Melton. My guess is he eventually signs a long-term deal to lower that cap hit.
Eddie (Macomb IL)
Any word on offensive line free agency front? Nick roach a goner?
Jeff Dickerson (1:29 PM)
No. I don't Roach is a goner. But the Bears are going to have to pay him a little money here. Eight teams have shown interest as of this morning. That's not to say all 8 teams will make offers, but there will be a few. It's up to the Bears to make this happen. There is nothing wrong with locking up a talented, 27 year old linebacker with a bright future. I think the Bears view Roach as more than a standard two-down SLB moving forward. So pay him for it. If the numbers are close, I bet Roach stays in Chicago.
David (Fairfax, VA)
Jeff, do you think the Bears will have any interest in signing Adrian Wilson, now that he was released by the Cardinals?
Jeff Dickerson (1:32 PM)
That's a really good question, David. Let me preface that by saying Wilson can still play and would be an outstanding pickup at a discounted rate. But, the Bears do have young and experienced guys like Chris Conte and Major Wright at safety, a good reserve in Craig Steltz, a promising candidate for the 4th or 5th safety spot in Tom Nelson, and oh yeah, they used a 3rd round pick last year on Brandon Hardin. So I don't know if safety is a huge need, but the Bears seem to add one every year. If they signed Wilson to around a veteran minimum deal, I can't imagine too many Bears fans would complain.
J Finley (Green Bay)
Wouldn't I look good in a Bears uniform?
Jeff Dickerson (1:33 PM)
I'd love to see you thrown into the mix with Marshall and Cutler, for entertainment purposes if nothing else.
Austin (Iowa) [via mobile]
What are the chances that if we clear enough cap room with either restructuring or extending current players deals that we go after a guy like Mike Wallace? The combo of Marshall, Jeffery, Wallace and Bennett would be deadly.
Jeff Dickerson (1:35 PM)
From what I've read, Austin, Mike Wallace is going to command over $11 million a year. Don't see it in Chicago. You know when the Bears should have added Wallace to their roster? In the 2009 NFL draft when they instead moved out of the second round and selected WR Juaquin Iglesias. How did that work out for them?
Dannon Sherich (Thomson, IL)
Why havent the Bears gave Kellen Davis the boot yet?
Jeff Dickerson (1:36 PM)
Maybe they want to see if they can upgrade the position first. Or maybe it happens before tomorrow at 3 pm.
I know this is probably a pretty crazy question and has nothing to do with the current issues with the Bears.....but is there any chance down the road that the Mckaskeys build a new stadium that has nothing to do with the Park district?
Jeff Dickerson (1:40 PM)
We can all dream. But the Bears would probably need to spend their own money to build the stadium. Therein lies the problem. And as a son of the great state of Illinois, we have our share of corruption issues when it comes to getting things built or accomplished on a govt. level. So I wouldn't hold your breath.
Todd (Crystal Lake)
do signing bonus count twords the cap? Can the Bears make a lower contact offer but give big signing bonus to free up cap space?
Jeff Dickerson (1:45 PM)
Another good question, Todd. Yes, a signing bonus does count towards the cap, but what teams do is prorate that amount over the life of the deal. For example, Kellen Davis got a $2.7 million signing bonus last offseason. Half of that ($1.350 million) counted towards his salary cap number last year. The other $1.350 million counts towards Davis' 2013 cap number and would represent the "dead money" the Bears would have to carry this year if they cut Davis. So while a move the get rid of Davis would clear up $2.5 million in salary cap space, the Bears would still be on the hook for that $1.350 million counting against the cap this year. Bears would probably like a do-over on that one.
With Kelvin Hayden looking on open market, if he leaves would Bears consider bringing back DJ Moore?
Jeff Dickerson (1:46 PM)
No. That ship has sailed. D.J. is looking for a new team. He could use a fresh start.
Eddie (Macomb IL )
What are the odds Jake Long becomes a Bear? Would be nice protection for Jay and a good investment.
Jeff Dickerson (1:48 PM)
If they can steal Long for a low price, then it's worth considering. But when I read things that state he's looking for over $11 million a year, I just don't see it happening.
T. Hopkins (Las Cruces)
Do think it would benefit the Bears OL more if they upgraded at Center and allowed Garza to move back to Guard than to replace Webb?
Jeff Dickerson (1:49 PM)
I don't know if the Bears would move Garza back to guard. I think they will be looking to add a guy capable of playing center at some point. Roberto has had an excellent career, but he's getting close to the end.
James Ellerson (Alsip)
Evan Rodriguez was drafted because he had the ability to stretch the field, seemingly the way Greg Olsen did for us, but in his rookie season, we didnt get to see much of him, especially with his injury. With him working out with Marshall, along with Jeffery, what do you think are the bears chances of giving him the opportunity to be the main pass catching TE next season?
Jeff Dickerson (1:51 PM)
Yes, I believe Evan Rodriguez will be given a chance to be a vertical threat in the passing game next year. I still think the Bears could consider adding another TE either in free agency or via the draft, but don't sleep on Rodriguez. He was a 4th round pick. Emery likes him. He will get his shot.
Rena Menkes (Work)
Ok....so if youre Phil Emery, is there any concern about stocking the o-line with more high intensity guys? Between JWeed and others, theyre a quiet, uninspiring bunch. Guys like Eric Winston and the rookie Fluker could really bring some spunk!!! ok, BYE
Jeff Dickerson (1:55 PM)
Sure. But I'd first like to see some guys have are actually good offensive linemen. I would have no objection if the Bears could somehow land Winston. He's what they need. And I loved Fluker at the Combine. He seems like a winner to me. Although, granted, I'm not paid to make those evaluations. The sad thing is there is so much work to be done of the OL, I can't see it all getting done in one offseason. That's what happens when you swing and miss on a pair of 1st round tackles.
Matt (Groton, South Dakota)
how is Lance Louis progressing? Do you see him getting resigned?
Jeff Dickerson (1:57 PM)
I've been told that Louis has been rehabbing at Halas Hall since the start of the offseason and working hard at it. I feel bad for Louis. He was in position to get a nice contract before he got hurt. But now with the ACL, it's going to be a struggle. But I sense the Bears want to bring him back and will probably get something done with him.
Theo (Lincoln Park)
So it is obvious that in Cutler's final year of his contract we are putting a lot of eggs into his basket. If he doesn't pan out this season, what are some viable QB options for the bears?
Jeff Dickerson (1:58 PM)
I don't know. But I hope Phil Emery has a Plan B at quarterback. He may need it.
Jeff Dickerson (1:59 PM)
Thanks everybody. We hope to have more news today. I'll be on from 7-10 tonight on ESPN 1000 and this afternoon at 3:30 with Carmen and Jurko. Talk to you then.