Bears Court Chandler

Chris Chandler began his free agent tour with a trip to Chicago on Wednesday. Jerry Angelo said last week that the team was considering the 36-year-old quarterback as a potential backup for Jim Miller, but concerns about Chandler's healthy could slow the Bears interest. Despite a history of concussions Chandler passed a physical during his visit to Halas Hall and team officials came away pleased with the meeting.

''His visit went well,'' general manager Jerry Angelo told the Chicago SunTimes. ''We presented him with our situation, and we'll let him digest it. We're letting everyone know Jim Miller is our starting quarterback when training camp opens.''

Chandler was recently cut by the Falcons for salary cap purposes and to make room for former number one pick Michael Vick. Atlanta took a $5.1 million hit to release Chandler, who was scheduled to count $8.5 million against their salary cap next year and more than $10 million in each of the following two seasons.

Chandler was a Pro Bowler in 1997 and 1998 with Atlanta, leading the Falcons to the Super Bowl after the 1998 season. He started 14 of 16 games last season finishing the year in a tie for eighth in the NFL with an 84.1 passer rating, while throwing for 2,487 yards and 16 touchdowns.

The Bears would likely wait to try to sign Chandler until a trade for Matthews is complete. However, the Bears want more than the Redskins offer of a seventh-round pick for Matthews. The team is paying Matthews approximately $750,000, but could have to pay Chandler more.

Although Chandler would prefer to remain a starter there are not a lot of starting jobs open. The Bengals and Texans are options, but he might not want to go a team without a chance to win.

Besides Chandler other quarterbacks available include Charlie Batch, Jeff Blake, Gus Frerotte, Tony Banks, Kent Graham, Scott Mitchell and Rick Mirer.

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