Out of the running

With only about $1 million under the cap the Bears don't have the money to outbid the competition for remaining free agents. However in the case of Jason Gildon, it appears the Bears didn't have the interest.

Peter Schaffer, the agent for Gildon, says his client is choosing between the Packers, Bengals and Bills.

At this point it appears the Bengals are the front-runner's for Gildon. The up-and-coming Bengals have plenty of salary-cap space, but perhaps more importantly, Gildon starred at Pittsburgh while Bengals coach Marvin Lewis coached the Steelers' linebackers.

Gildon was released June 2 for salary-cap issues. The former Pro Bowl linebacker is Pittsburgh's all-time leading sacker with 77. But after tallying 13.5 sacks in 2000 and 12 in 2001, Gildon's sack numbers have dropped as his age — he'll be 32 at the end of the month — has increased. He finished with six sacks last season.

No matter where Gildon signs he is not be expected to an every down contributor, but a situational pass-rusher, which seemed to suit the Bears needs. The lack of depth and experience behind starters Alex Brown and Michael Haynes is a concern.

"I like what our defensive ends have done in the off-season," said Lovie Smith. "Right now we're going in thinking that we're going to choose our 53-man roster from what we have now."

Gildon never visited Halas Hall, so it appears GM Jerry Angelo was serious about pursuing the veteran. Whether or not Angelo would have tried to sign Jamal Reynolds if the Packers released the defensive end, instead of trading him to Indianapolis is also up for debate.


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