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 noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Jeff Dickerson (12:59 PM)
Thrilled to be here for the next hour. Let's get it started.
Any chance the Bears look at a wide receiver with their first round pick or are they pretty set on taking a linemen?
Jeff Dickerson (1:02 PM)
The Bears could go a variety of ways at No. 20, but with Brandon Marshall, Earl Bennett and Alshon Jeffery already in place on the roster, I tend the think the Bears might wait until a little later in the draft to select a WR, or they could pick up a servicable veteran in free agency. I also liked what I saw from Joe Anderson late last season, so I wonder if he could be in the mix for a roster spot again this summer.
Nick [via mobile]
Will the bears pursue in TE or SS?
Jeff Dickerson (1:07 PM)
I think the Bears must pursue a TE either in free agency or via the draft. The defense looks to be in pretty decent shape at safety with starters Chris Conte and Major Wright, plus reserve Craig Steltz. Don't forget, the Bears used a 3rd round pick last year on Brandon Hardin, so I'm sure he'll be given a chance to earn a role this summer. Tom Nelson might surprise some people when the offseason program begins. He's got some upside, and if not for a high ankle sprain in the fourth preseason game in 2012, Nelson makes the Eagles 53-man roster. He could push for a spot on the team. And Anthony Walters also contributed a little last season. To me, there is a much bigger need at TE as opposed to safety.
Ryan (Darien, IL) [via mobile]
With the Bears still in need of receiving help, are they more likely to go after a free agent like Bowe ( who Emery is familiar with) or Mike Wallace as opposed to taking a chance by drafting an unknown commodity?
Jeff Dickerson (1:10 PM)
The problem with going after big name guys like Bowe or Wallance is that they cost a lot of money. The Bears are currently in a tricky spot salary cap-wise, so is it even possible for them to spend big bucks in free agency, especially at a position where Brandon Marshall is set to have a cap number of $9.3 million?
JD, any idea on the chances we resign DJ Moore? I really liked him as a nickel and just seemed to be in Lovies doghouse way too often. He proved to be a playmaker when given playing time and dont think he will be too expensive. Any word on him from the new staff?
Jeff Dickerson (1:13 PM)
I would tend to think that D.J. Moore will not be back in Chicago next year. Moore is one of three Bears' cornerbacks set to be unrestricted free agents (Kelvin Hayden and Zack Bowman, and I view Moore as the least likely of the three to be re-signed. Good player. But I believe he would benefit from joining a new team.
Do you think they sign any free agents this year outside of the Bears current free agents? If so,who do you see them targeting?
Jeff Dickerson (1:16 PM)
I said this on Waddle and Silvy today, but I'll mention it again. Since I don't know if the Bears will have a ton of money to play around with in free agency, I'm looking at guys who (1) are good players that fit needs, but (2) won't break the bank to sign. At tight end, I think the 49ers' Delanie Walker fits the mold of what the Bears say they are looking for at tight end, a versatile player they can line up inside, outside and in the backfield. At offensive guard, I believe the Jets' Brandon Moore would be a huge upgrade for the Bears inside. Just two thoughts.
Matt (Shelbyville, IL)
Do you see us trading up and packaging Hester in somehow so we can be certain to draft an impact O-Lineman?
Jeff Dickerson (1:18 PM)
Matt, I'm not sure what kind of value Hester would bring via a trade. Maybe a 6th round pick? Probably not enough to entice a team to allow the Bears to move up very high in the draft. That being said, I still feel that Hester needs to get out of Chicago.
Justin (Ottumwa, Iowa)
Will the Bears allow Chris Harris any time to tutor any of the safeties on their roster?
Jeff Dickerson (1:19 PM)
Sure. Just because Harris is a quality control coach doesn't mean he won't be doing any actual coaching. I think Harris will be a big help to defensive backs coach Jon Hoke.
Dave (Elmhurst, IL)
Dispite his troubled past is Ogletree in the mix if still around at 20?
Jeff Dickerson (1:22 PM)
I feel like if Ogletree hadn't been popped for that DUI, he'd absolutely been one of the seven guys the Bears would/will consider at No. 20. He still might be in the mix, but how can an NFL prospect be so stupid as to get a DUI this close to the Combine? That shows me a stunning lack of awareness and overall common sense.
I know everybody hates Kellen Davis, and I know everybody really wants to give E-Rod a chance at any/all positions, but what about Kyle Adams? He's a big dude! Can he catch? Can he block? Will he get a chance this season?
Jeff Dickerson (1:26 PM)
Kyle Adams is nice down the field threat in the passing game. Don't think he's considered a great blocker, however. But to me, this isn't about the reserve tight ends. Matt Spaeth is an excellent blocker, both in the run game and as a pass protector. There is always a need in the NFL for a guy like Spaeth. Rodriguez will get a shot because he was a 4th round draft choice, and that's fine. Adams also provides some value. But the problem is the starting tight end. That position needs to be filled by a better player than the person who occupied the role last year. I don't think Adams is going to be that guy, but I also don't think he shouldn't be allowed to compete for a roster spot.
Jeff (Gurnee, Il)
How likely is Urlacher to return to the Bears? and if he doesn't is Te'o a possible replacement?
Jeff Dickerson (1:29 PM)
I firmly believe the Bears coaches would prefer if the team re-signs Urlacher. I know for a fact the rest of the players want him back. But it will probably all come down to money. What is Urlacher willing to take and how much are the Bears willing to offer? That remains the great unknown. As far as Te'o, I don't think he's the guy to replace Urlacher, both from a scheme fit or a leadership position. I'd take a pass on him at No. 20, but I'm not paid to make that call. That's why Phil Emery makes the kind of money he does!
James (Madison, WI) [via mobile]
What's up Jeff?! What's the deal with Campbell? He looked pretty bad in his limited action last year and he's a FA now. I feel we're better off drafting a QB in the mid rounds and saving the money it would cost to resign a veteran like Campbell
Jeff Dickerson (1:33 PM)
That's a great question, James. The Bears paid Campbell $3.5 million last year, and I don't know if they saw the return on their investment. I think Campbell is a good guy with a lot of experience, but I don't know if he's worth that kind of money again. But regardless, they need to find a No. 2 quarterback, no doubt about it. Heard a couple of people metion in Indy that Matt Blanchard could make the leap to No. 3 this year. He seems to have potential, but he's probably not ready to be the primary backup just yet.
Brett North Dakota [via mobile]
Is there any possibility the Bears can restructure any of it's current players contracts to get further under the salary cap?
Jeff Dickerson (1:36 PM)
I hope so. The Bears need more salary cap space. Here are the highest cap numbers on the books for 2013: Peppers, $16.383 million, Cutler, $10.370 million, Marshall, $9.3 million, Tillman, $8 million, Briggs, $7.416 million and Forte, $7.175 million.
You mentioned 7 guys the BEARS are interested at 20. Who?
Jeff Dickerson (1:37 PM)
If I knew that I'd go buy Lotto tickets.
patrick downers grove [via mobile]
Hey JD if your Phil emery who is your first pick or realistically who do you want at 20
Jeff Dickerson (1:40 PM)
I would be on the mindset to take an OL at No. 20 if the right guys were still on the board. I came away very impressed with Alabama RT D.J. Fluker. He said all the right things. Talked about working hard, being a leader, wanting to go someplace to win championships. I liked that attitude. The two guards (Cooper and Warmack) also seem like excellent players. I just feel that so much work needs to be on the Bears' offensive line, that's where I would start. Unless all those guys are gone. The last thing a team wants to do is reach in the first round.
Do you forsee the Bears trying to find a receiver like Johnny Knox again?
Jeff Dickerson (1:42 PM)
I think they will attempt to add a quicker WR to the group, yes.
Jeff, with many mocks predicting the top OL gone by pick 20, any chance the Bears trade down to pick up another draft pick? Could still target Ogletree, Minter, or a TE.
Jeff Dickerson (1:44 PM)
Sure. Can't rule any of that out. That's why you never reach in the first round. That's why if the Bears believe they can still get the same value if they trade down, then you trade down and collect the extra picks. Bears are missing a few picks this year due to previous trades.
Jeff Dickerson (1:46 PM)
Just saw Te'o ran an unoffical 4.81 40-yard dash on his first attempt.
Ben (Ohio) [via mobile]
Of our two starting OT last year, who would be the first to lose his job to a potential draft pick/ free agent?
Jeff Dickerson (1:46 PM)
The one not named J'Marcus Webb.
Anthony (Chicago )
How likely is a trade for Revis?
Jeff Dickerson (1:48 PM)
The Bears have two cornerbacks coming off Pro Bowl seasons and the defense runs a lot of zone coverage. I would say the odds of that happening don't look great. If you trade for a guy, you have to assume his contract. So there is also a financial aspect to it all.
Dave (Menomonee Falls, WI)
Shouldn't the Bears invest multiple picks in the offensive line? It seems like having a surplus of quality lineman would be a good problem to have.
Jeff Dickerson (1:49 PM)
I agree, Dave. But we probably should wait and see what the Bears do in free agency. I think it's likely that one high draft pick will be used on the OL, but if they are able to fill some needs in free agency, then maybe burning a second pick on the same position group won't be as necessary.
What are your thoughts on taking a QB in the 4th round to groom incase Cutler has another Cutler year and leaves. Matt Scott, Marquise Gray, Tyler Bray?
Jeff Dickerson (1:52 PM)
As long as it's the right QB, I'm all for it. But please, no more Nate Enderles or Dan LeFevours. I still can't believe they drafted LeFevour. At least Martz went up and worked out Enderle before the draft. He hadn't even seen tape on LeFevour. Too many cooks in the Bears' draft kitchen that day, let me tell you.
Hey JD. You mentioned reaching in the first round. Although its still early, I think you can make an argument for reaching with Shea McClellin. That has always been typical of the Bears. The make strange draft picks. What about this year gives fans the sense that the Bears will pick true assets to help our football team?
Jeff Dickerson (1:55 PM)
Michael, that remains to be seen about McClellin. But I agree, on the surface it seemed like an odd pick. McClellin is probably going to get more playing time, and what he does with it, is up to him. It's kind of hard to evaluate a DE that gets 20-30 snaps a game. We should have a better idea about what kind of player McClellin is this fall. I can tell you there are people at Halas Hall that felt McClellin wasn't used enough last year. So to be fair, let's give it some time and see how he develops in 2013.
JJ (Huntington Beach, CA)
With the emergence of Wootton and draft of McClellin and the possibility of drafting a D-lineman in later rounds, is releasing Peppers an option?
Jeff Dickerson (1:57 PM)
It would be tough to convince me the Bears would be better off without Peppers on the defensive line. I think they'd be much worse. Don't forget that Peppers is coming off another Pro Bowl season. Now, the cap number is high, clearly, but the Bears would be better off trying to re-work his deal rather than releasing him, in my opinion.
James (Madison, WI) [via mobile]
I respect Jay Cutlers' football ability and desire to win! But now that we can add "horrible proposals" to his laundry list of a hole moments, is Jay the least liked Bear of all time?
Jeff Dickerson (2:00 PM)
Cutler has a lot of work to do inside that locker room. It's time to start being a leader, start working hard, start accepting the coaching he's been given and stop showing up teammates on the field. If I were Cutler, I'd be a lot less worried about how I'm being perceived by the general public and far more worried about how my teammates, coaches and the support staff feel about me inside my own building.
Jeff Dickerson (2:01 PM)
Thanks everybody. Have a great rest of the week!