Will Patience Prove to be Wise?

While other teams are spending money in an attempt to improve their team, the Bears have failed to make a major splash in free agency thus far. Their patience could allow a target to slip away or find a bargain.

Antwaan Randle El visited with the Washington Redskins on Saturday, but left without a contract being signed. While talking with Randle El, the Redskins completed a deal with San Francisco for wideout Brandon Lloyd.

The Redskins would also like to add Randle El, but the move could deter him from landing in Washington. He wants to be featured more in an offense. Santana Moss is obviously the No. 1 receiver with the Redskins Randle El could be No. 3 after the trade for Lloyd.

However, there is one less option on the free agent market. There are reports that David Givens has re-signed with the New England Patriots. The final numbers on the deal could influence Randle El's market value.

The Bears are reportedly offering a five-year deal worth more than $20 million. The Redskins have always been willing to throw money at a player, but all things being equal Randle El would likely to choose Chicago because the team is a legitimate Super Bowl contender and he could play in his hometown.

At some point waiting for the market could will either yield free agent bargains or mean losing players to competitors. With more than $20 million in cap space it's time to be proactive.

When the offensive line needed to be rebuilt in free agency, general manager Jerry Angelo signed four starters the past two years. When the team needed a No. 1 receiver, Angelo signed the best player available before the start of free agency.

Why should Angelo's philosophy change now when the team is only a few moves away from being an NFC favorite? Whether it's signing Randle El or going after help on defense, Angelo needs to remain aggressive. Planning has given the Bears cap room so take advantage of a rare opportunity to win a Super Bowl and seal the deal.

Signing major free agents is no guarantee, but it puts the Bears in the best position possible heading into 2006. That's the most fans can ask for after not tasting postseason success in more than a decade.


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