Study Abroad

Free agency and the draft will provide an opportunity to upgrade the team, but there's another resource the Bears will utilize this off-season in search of a diamond in the rough. Ten players will head to NFL Europe.

The NFL Europe league office started off the process of forming the league's 2006 rosters by assigning 100 players across their six teams. Only three Bears – OL Qasim Mitchell, LB Jeremy Cain and QB B.J. Symons -- were allocated.

Once that step was complete, the league's head coaches drafted from the remaining pool of designated players from the NFL's 32 teams. Then the teams rounded out their squads by drafting free agents, many of whom are former NFL players not currently under contract.

With 10 players, the Bears will be represented on all six teams in the league. Here's a team-by-team look at familiar faces that Bears fans can watch for when the league kicks off its 14th season on March 18th.

Amsterdam Admirals
LB Jeremy Cain finished the season on the 53-man roster, but never got a chance for major playing time. With the Bears looking for depth at linebacker, Cain will have a chance to gain experience in Europe.

WR Craig Bragg signed with the Bears practice squad toward the end of the season. The receiver also has the ability to be a factor in the return game and could see action in both phases with the Admirals.

CB Abraham Elimimian will also suit up for the Admirals. He originally came into the league with the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent out of Hawaii.

Berlin Thunder
With two young quarterbacks in the stable, the Bears are looking for help toward the bottom of the depth chart. B.J. Symons has spent the past two seasons with the Houston Texans. He will get a chance to step under center for the Thunder.

Frankfurt Galaxy
OL Qasim Mitchell is the biggest name allocated by the Bears. He started 14 games at left tackle for the Bears in 2004 before having a diminished role as a reserve. He was inactive nine times last season, but will have a chance to shake off the rust with Frankfurt. He has experience at both guard and tackle.

S Jason Harmon will join Mitchell on the Galaxy. In search of help in the secondary, Harmon will a chance to impress with the hopes of getting a training camp invite.

Hamburg Sea Devils
CB Willie Amos finished the season on the practice squad. The Nebraska product will get an opportunity to play cornerback in Europe.

LB Justin Smith will join him on the Hamburg squad.

Rhein Fire
LB Stephen Larsen signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent out of San Diego State. He spent time with the team in training camp before being cut.

Cologne Centurions
LB Josh Dean, who was a teammate of Larsen's at San Diego State, will suit up for the Centurions.


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