Analysis of Offensive Cuts

Whenever free agency starts (it's scheduled for Sunday night), the Bears will be in a position to go after some of the top offensive weapons available at wide receiver, tight end and maybe even at backup quarterback. We take a look at some of the players released Thursday at those positions.

Any team looking for a starting quarterback in free agency may have an uphill battle in addressing their need. San Diego's Drew Brees head-up a relatively weak field of signal-callers available, beginning Monday March 6th at 12:01 a.m.

Brees, the only five-star player according to the Scout.com free agent player rankings is garnering a considerable amount of attention due to his success in leading the Chargers out of the basement of the AFC West Division.

The field of available free agent quarterbacks is mainly those of aging veterans, backups or potential grooming quality players. Listed below are the latest quarterbacks released as teams pare contract from their salary cap.

QB:
Tony Banks (Houston) Banks has been a backup to David Carr in Houston and should only expect to serve in a reserve capacity at this point in his career. Still athletic, Banks still has a strong arm, but inconsistency and a knack for turning the ball have hampered him throughout his career.

Jay Fiedler (Jets) Brought in to serve as insurance in the event starter Chad Pennington was injured, Fielder went down with a shoulder injury minutes into his first opportunity in New York. Has had some success as a starter, but is now in the twilight of his career and should be looked upon as a backup or emergency type starter.

Tommy Maddox (Pittsburgh) Appears to have lost all confidence in his ability. Often throws into coverage and has proven to be very erratic. Unlikely he will suit up in 2006, unless a team comes calling for a veteran type to step in.

TE:
Jeb Putzier (Denver) Has turned into a solid tight-end in the Broncos offensive system. Putzier release was in an effort to reduce the Denver salary-cap issues and no other reason. His blocking has improved, but should be deemed average, while excelling as a receiver. The interest in Putzier will immediate when the free agent player signing period commences.

Mark Campbell (Buffalo) As the Bills sought to gain salary-cap relief, Campbell was an easy target for the team. Has battled injuries throughout his career, when healthy has shown the ability to get open, and is a sufficient run blocker. Campbell should be looked at as a depth player for a team looking to fill out the roster with a veteran presence type player willing to play special teams.

WR:
Cedric James (New England) Non-descript, special teams type player at best.

Johnnie Morton (San Francisco) Nearing the end of his career, still runs routes well, but has slowed and does not catch the ball nearly as well as in his days in Detroit. Can be a help as a reserve, but shouldn't be counted on to be a major contributor.

Harry Williams (Jets) Special teams type player.


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