Unfinished Business

It's June 6th 2002, five days after the June 1st, a time in the NFL season where skilled but high priced veterans are being cut to make room for incoming free agents and rookies. In what is perceived to be a "weak" free agent class, the focus seems to be on offense.

The deepest position on the free agent market is wideout, an area the Bears seem to have some depth in. With Marty Booker, Marcus Robinson, and David Terrell, the Bears will not show much interest in big name free agent receivers such as Derrick Alexander, Keenan McCardell, or Antonio Freeman.

On the other hand the Bears have shown that they are committed to bringing in more depth through free agency with the signings of Keith McKenzie, Damon Moore, Mike Caldwell, and Chris Chandler. There are several teams that underachieved last season, who have high priced veterans and young emerging talent ready to fill in. Case in point, the Bills, Buffalo seems to be ready to release a player who would fit in perfectly with the Chicago Bears offense, a position that seems to lack depth and quality for the Bears.

The Bills will likely release tight end Jay Riemersma, who has been in the league seven years out of the University of Michigan, in the near future. Riemersma looks to be the odd man out in Buffalo after a disappointing season in which he played 12 games finishing with 31 receptions for 372 yards and five touchdowns.

The Bills are looking to retool their offense and get a little younger, to build star players around newly acquired quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Meaning Riemersma doesn't fit into that picture and Chicago would be the perfect fit. A talented and relatively young tight end, NFL.com had this to say regarding Riemersma, "one of the premier pass-catching tight ends in the NFL."

The Bears currently have Fred Baxter and John Davis as the top two tight ends, neither of which are great pass catchers. In the quick pass offense being run by John Shoop, many believe a pass catching tight end such as Riemersma could catch 50 or more balls a season, while serving as a big target inside the red zone, an area the Bears have struggled mightily in past seasons. Look for Riemersma's to be released by the Bills within the next week. If that does occur the Bears would be wise to pick up another piece to their championship puzzle.


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