Changing of the guard

The Bears gave eight-time Pro Bowl guard Ruben Brown a Thursday deadline to accept a three-year offer to come to Chicago. The ultimatum must have worked as Brown agreed to the deal and could formally sign the contract by Friday.

The deal is believed to be worth $1.5 million in guaranteed money and worth of the contract could go up if certain incentives such as starts and playoff victories are met.

Brown visited other cities including Detroit, but received no other formal offers and if he had not decided by the Bears Thursday deadline they would have pulled theirs off the table.

Jerry Angelo's latest addition gives the Bears a second veteran addition on the offensive line. John Tait signed a six-year $33.5 million deal last month to anchor the right side of the line. Now the two will block next to each other, as Brown is Chris Villarrial's replacement at right guard.

Leaving Mike Gandy to play out of position and compete with Qasim Mitchell for the left tackle spot.

With the Brown signing Chicago has basically exhausted their remaining cap space, which was estimated at $1.5 million. The team could gain some more room if recent acquisition, FB Bryan Johnson, agrees to restructure his contract that counts $2.2 million toward the cap this year.

The chances of trading for Miami Dolphins DE Adewale Ogunleye seem less and less likely as the Bears cap room disappears. Ogunleye is seeking a contract extension with a signing bonus in the area of $15 million. At this point the Dolphins offered him a one-year tender of $1.84 million and don't appear inclined to negotiate a long-term contract. The same can be said for LB Ian Gold, who visited Halas Hall last Friday. Coming off an ACL injury, Gold is likely to miss time this season, but at 25 is still young enough to return from a severe knee problem.

One big man for another
Ted Washington played a major role in New England's Super Bowl run after being traded from the Bears to the Patriots for a fourth-round pick. The free agent departure of Washington to Oakland literally left a large hole the Patriots defensive line.

It turns out that Washington's former teammate in with the Bears will now replace him in New England. After three seasons with the Bears Keith Traylor is headed to New England. The 6-foot-2, 340-pound defender, entering his 13th NFL season, has started 107 of 171 career games with 427 career tackles, including 13 sacks.


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