Proposed Benson Deal is Erroneous

Contrary to internet and radio reports, first round pick RB Cedric Benson has not agreed to terms with the Bears. GM Jerry Angelo talked briefly with the media Monday night to clarify the situation.

"We talked to the agent and we said we're not going to negotiate through the press," Angelo said.

Rumblings turned into a frenzied atmosphere when reports that first overall pick QB Alex Smith had signed a six-year $51 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers that included $24 million in guaranteed money. His deal could be the domino that Benson's camp has been waiting for to move forward with discussions.

"I do know that Alex Smith signed, but it's premature to jump to any conclusions," Angelo said. "We have to see the deal, the agent has to see the deal and we'll go from there."

Benson has missed two practices thus far and according to Angelo the two sides have not made any progress since the team's initial offer before the start of training camp.

"We're certainly on top of this, we're very motivated to get him into camp," Angelo said. "I felt like we made a very very strong offer, something that we felt should have got it done but obviously they didn't think that (way). We have to respect their side obviously and we'll just wait and see what the next step is."

Head coach Lovie Smith has so many things to worry about on the field, he's taking an out of sight out of mind approach to Benson not being in camp.

"Cedric will eventually be in camp and when he's in we'll stick him in there and take off from there," Smith said.

Picking Up the Pieces
Brian Urlacher intercepted Ryan Dinwiddie on a pass over the middle during a seven-on-seven drill.

"We expect Brian to make big plays," Smith said. "That was a great interception that he made there earlier but that's what he's supposed to do. He expects to make big plays like that."

Charles Tillman picked off Rex Grossman when a miscommunication led to the ball going directly to Tillman.

Not everything went Tillman's way, as he was beat deep by Kareem Kelly and again by Eddie Berlin. Chad Hutchinson gave the receivers an opportunity to run down the ball.

Kicking it AroundDoug Brien nor Nick Novak impressed during kicking drills. Novak came up well short and to the left on a midrange kick, while Brien was wide left on his attempt.

Injury Update
Roberto Garza didn't practice as he struggled to handle the heat of Sunday's practice and was held out as a precaution. Jerrell Pippens also sat out Monday with a case of turf toe.

After turning an ankle in practice on Sunday, DT Ian Scott returned to action on Monday.

Quote of the Day:
"It was so hot yesterday I saw the devil drinking a Slurpee." – CB Charles Tillman.

Bleeding Orange
The Bears used orange shorts for their Monday practice. Lovie Smith said it was a team decision and he's open to suggestion when it comes to fashion.

"It's a new year, we're trying some new things," Smith said.

Weather Report
The Bears caught a break for much of Monday's noon padded practice. However, an overcast sky turned clear over the final 30 minutes of practice, which made for a humid conclusion.

The first two-a-day practice is scheduled for Tuesday. A morning practice will is followed by a night practice at Ward Field.

"You put the pads on and automatically things pick up a lot," Smith said. "We were in shorts still, so that slowed it up a little bit. Tomorrow we will be in full pads though, so the tempo should pick up even more."


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