Putzier, 27, has been mentioned within the team meetings. This was an anticipated cut and the Bears could have a serious interest. At this point, his agent has not had any type of contact with the Bears, but he anticipates hearing from most teams with a need at the position.
The 6-foot-4, 256-pounder would be an upgrade at the position over current starter Desmond Clark. Despite playing in the run oriented his blocking is average at best. Still he's a terrific athlete who is a good fit for a West Coast offense. The Bears could easily find a tight end in the draft, but according to personnel people within the organization using a first round selection on the position is a luxury.
Going after Putzier, who is clearly the best tight end on the open market, wouldn't necessarily stop the Bears from making a serious run at Antwaan Randle El. The Bears have room to maneuver as many other teams are being forced to make cuts to get to the projected $94.5 million salary cap. A potential uncapped year in 2007 also gives the Bears additional flexibility to go after players.
Taking care of offensive needs in free agency would be a major victory for the Bears. The team could then focus on other areas in the draft. Cornerback, linebacker and the offensive line all need additional depth.