Close doesn't help D-Line

A strong push for Jevon Kearse meant the Bears lost another player they coveted. After Wednesday's signing spree around the league Chicago still has plenty of money to spend, but whose left to pursue?

While Cornelius Griffin signed a 6-year deal worth $25.5 million with Washington, the Bears were still busy going after Jevon Kearse. Reportedly the Bears made an 8-year offer for $60 million, $18 of which was guaranteed. In the end going to Philly for a little more money and a chance to play on an Eagles team that has been in the NFC Title game for three straight years was the difference.

The Bears had interested in Griffin, but lost out when the negotiations with Kearse were slow.

The offensive line took a hit on Wednesday as Chris Villarrial signed a 4-year deal worth $12 million with Buffalo. Terrence Metcalf and Mike Gandy are the top two candidates to takeover for the longest tenured Bear at right guard.

There is still a major question at left tackle. John Tait is the Bears top priority remaining on the free agent market. There's some debate whether he would play left or right tackle if he comes to Chicago. Tait has experience on both sides, but is a natural on the right side.

Tait is scheduled to come to Chicago at the end of the week, while the Bears also have scheduled visits with offensive linemen, Jeno James and Cosey Coleman. Wideout Darren Jackson is also expected to visit Halas Hall in the coming days.

It appears that Qasim Mitchell could open the mini-camp at the end of the month as the Bears left tackle. Obviously that's not an ideal position for the Bears as Mitchell is also more of a right tackle, but their options are limited because the top left tackles received franchised tags from their perspective clubs and the status of Marc Colombo is questionable at best.

Tait is currently in Miami talking with the Dolphins and there is a chance he could sign with Dave Wannstedt before heading to Chicago.

One thing is for certain, the signing of Thomas Jones means the Bears can eliminate taking a running back in the first-round of the draft. It appears the Bears could go after a defensive tackle or wideout with the 14th selection in next month's draft.

GM Jerry Angelo admitted Wednesday that teams have inquired about Anthony Thomas' services. However at this point Thomas' value is minimal and Chicago would be better served to keep him as a backup to Jones at a bargain price.


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