Bear Essentials: Hester Wants Moss

The Chicago Bears are in the market for a big-name wide receiver, which could come via this year's free agency period. Devin Hester believes Santana Moss is the player the teams should sign.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has unquestionable talent, yet it's debatable whether or not he currently has enough pieces around him to succeed. Obviously he needs better blocking from the front five, yet many believe a big-name wide receiver would help Cutler take the next step in his development.

Earlier this offseason, coach Lovie Smith mentioned his desire to bring in a taller wide receiver toward whom defenses would be forced to roll coverage. Yet coordinator Mike Martz doesn't have much use for bigger wideouts, as he prefers smaller, quicker receivers in his offensive system.

Devin Hester, a shorter receiver himself, recently talked about the team's offensive needs and said free-agent pass catcher Santana Moss is the player Chicago should pursue.

"Anybody that can come in and help out the team, I'm down for it, and a guy like (Moss) can come in and really help out a lot," Hester told the Chicago Tribune. "I'm hoping we can get him."

WR Santana Moss
Micahel DeHoog/Getty

Moss (5-10, 209) posted a career-high 93 catches for 1,115 yards and six touchdowns in Washington last season. He was able to put up those numbers despite having a combination of Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman throwing to him. With Cutler throwing slinging balls his way, who knows what he could accomplish

He'll be 32 when the season starts, so offering him a multi-year deal for big money wouldn't make a lot of sense. He drops way too many passes, but for a veteran who has the right body type and skill-set to succeed in Martz's offense, the Bears could do worse. If his price tag isn't too high, it wouldn't be surprising to see him in the navy and blue next season.

Sayers rips NFL, NFLPA

Hall of Famer and former Bears running back Gale Sayers recently said the NFL and its players aren't doing enough to help retired players. His comments were in response to the recent death of former NFL player John Mackey. The NFLPA originally refused to pay Mackey's disability income when he was diagnosed with dementia four years ago.

"You know, John Mackey died at 60-something (69)," Sayers told the Chicago Tribune. "(The NFL) could have helped him more, I felt. But they didn't, and the players (NFLPA) could have helped more, and it didn't happen."

Eventually, the league and NFLPA agreed to an "88 Plan," which provides $88,000 a year for nursing home care and up to $50,000 annually for adult day care. Mackey wore No. 88 for the Baltimore Colts.

Sayers believes the top priority of the ongoing CBA negotiations should be increased benefits for retired players.

"It's not for me; I'm OK," he said. "But it's for the rest of them. There is no question that the game wouldn't be a game if it wouldn't have been for those people who played in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s and ‘60s. The players today are on our shoulders. They think they made the game the way it is today. And they didn't."

Urlacher ready to play

At the Kicks for a Cure charity kickball event last weekend at Chicago's Gran Park, linebacker Brian Urlacher gave his thoughts on the ongoing work stoppage.

"I don't think it's good at all. I don't think anything good can come out of this," Urlacher said, as first reported by "The guys are getting rest, but we'd rather be working. I know that much. That's what we do. Hopefully there's not a lot of injuries when we start back again, either."

For his part, Urlacher has been training on his own and is ready for football action.

"I feel good," he said. "If [the lockout ends] I'm ready to go. I've just been doing my regular offseason workouts, the same stuff we always do, just not with my teammates. It's the same as always. I haven't done anything different except not do OTAs and stuff with my teammates."

Teammate Matt Forte questioned whether the quality of the game could be reduced due to the extended time off.

"I think if we have enough time to get into training camp, and don't miss any camp [the quality of football won't be affected]," Forte said. "Training camp is really when you start getting those pads on. In OTAs, we only have helmets on. So when you get the pads on, you start to get that real part of football. You get the contact and stuff like that and you're able to work on your technique and stuff while doing that."

Garza boxing during down time

Last week, Roberto Garza hosted the Fourth Annual Roberto Garza Skills and Drills football camp in his hometown of Rio Hondo, Texas. The 10-year veteran said he's doing everything he can to make sure he'll be ready to go once football activities resume.

"I'm still in training," Garza said. "As you get older, you have to make sure you stay in shape. I started boxing and I do that twice a week. I hope at some point we start playing football again. But I just enjoy working out and I do as much as I can to keep busy these days. I'll also play a little golf on the side when I can."

The 32 year old has been the starter for the Bears at right guard the past five seasons and has no intentions of quitting any time soon.

"I just love the game," he said. "Every chance I get to step on the field is a great feeling. I'm not as young as I used to be and the recovery, week after week, is the hardest part. But I feel like I can still play and I'm going to play as long as I can."

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport com. To read him every day, visit BearReport com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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