Room for one more move

Warren Sapp is the forgotten man in free agency. There were few bigger names when the signing period began and yet the seven-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle has gotten little attention.

Perhaps, as agent Drew Rosenhaus claims, it was because teams believe Sapp's preference is to remain in Tampa Bay and they didn't want to be used to run up the price tag on the Bucs.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has not made an offer to Sapp and one might not be forthcoming. On the first day of the free agent signing period, the Bucs dispatched defensive line coach Rod Marinelli to California to meet with Redskins free agent defensive tackle Darrell Russell. Marinelli coached Russell at Southern Cal and Russell played for Gruden with the Raiders.

If anything, Sapp has been humbled to learn the big payday may no longer be out there for him. His declining performance, especially his sack numbers, have made teams leery of spending big money.

But make no mistake: there's a place in the NFL for Sapp. The Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears remain a possibility and Sapp has to hope Redskins owner Daniel Snyder may wake up one day and want to add another big-name free agent in Washington.

Even with the addition of John Tait the Bears still have about $3 million of cap space. While Jerry Angelo has admittedly publicly that the Bears are finished spending big money in free agency, Sapp might become a bargain as the number of suitors dwindle.

Sapp would boost a weak interior defensive line. At this point the projected starters are Bryan Robinson and Alfonso Boone with Tron LaFavor and Ian Scott backing them up, neither of which got a lot of playing time in their rookie campaigns.

Adding a player of Sapp's quality would truly allow the Bears to go after the best player available in the draft. However there is another side to Sapp, his personality has been known to influence a locker room. With a young club that could be a negative in the eyes of Angelo and Lovie Smith, who both have firsthand experience with Sapp from their days in Tampa.

Angelo is still considering offering Ephraim Salaam a contract. Adding an experienced left tackle would give the Bears a security blanket if to Qasim Mitchell struggles with a starting role.

''That's still a possibility,'' Angelo told the Chicago Sun-Times. ''We're going to talk about a couple of guys, but there's no sense of urgency. Right now, we're not going to be driven by the player, we're going to be driven by the market.''

The Insiders contributed to this report.

Bear Report Top Stories