Ogunleye rumor won't go away

Lovie Smith recently said he would prefer to rotate three defensive ends in his high-energy scheme. Alex Brown and Michael Haynes are obviously part of the plan, but it appears the Bears are contemplating a third candidate?

Late last week the Sun-Sentinel reported that the Bears had contacted the Miami Dolphins about trading for DE Adewale Ogunleye, who is a restricted free agent coming off a 15-sack season.

While the Bears will not part with a first- and third-round draft choice to sign Ogunleye to an offer sheet, the report said Jerry Angelo could offer a combination of a pick and a player.

The Dolphins need offensive line depth after releasing G Todd Perry last month. Aaron Gibson's named was mention in the report, but it seems unlikely the Bears would be able to pry the AFC's reigning sack leader for a second-round pick and Gibson.

At this point it appears the Dolphins are holding firm on their asking price of a first- and third-rounder for Ogunleye. He has until April 17th to receive an offer with another team before his rights revert back exclusively to the Dolphins. The situation has caused friction between the two sides. Ogunleye did not signed a waiver to participate in the Dolphins voluntary off-season workout program that started Monday.

Ogunleye's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has gone on record that his player would not sign the one-year, $1.84 million restricted free agent tender the Dolphins offered.

Ogunleye will turn 27 before the start of the season and has been considered by some a late bloomer with 24.5 sacks over the past two seasons. However a severe knee injury during his senior campaign at Indiana led to him being an undrafted free agent despite having 34 sacks in college. He spent his rookie campaign on Injured Reserve recovering from the injury and has turned into a great NFL pass rusher.

If Angelo could add a player of Ogunleye's talent without surrendering the 14th pick in the draft it would be a major steal. Pairing Ogunleye with Michael Haynes and Alex Brown would quickly turn the Bears ends into one of the most talented and youngest in the game.

Ultimately the trade is a long shot unless the relations with Miami and Ogunleye become so strained that he demands a trade. Whether or not this will happen before the April 17th deadline remains to be scene, but a trade would be more difficult to execute after the draft.

Free Agent Search Continues...
While Ephraim Salaam rejected the Bears first contract offer, Jerry Angelo appears to be examining plan B. Free-agent guard Ruben Brown is scheduled to visit the Bears today. The Buffalo Bills released Brown, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, last month after they signed Chris Villarrial. Brown could compete with Mike Gandy for the starting right guard job.

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