Bears Look to Add QB Depth

The Bears could become more active in the free agent market next week. The team will visit with Brian Griese on Monday in an attempt to sure up the quarterback situation.

Tampa Bay got off to a 5-1 start with Griese under center, but a knee injury ended his season on Oct. 16. Before having to pay him a $2.6 million bonus, the Buccaneers cut him last week.

If Griese lands in Chicago, he would not likely push Rex Grossman for the starting job. However, he would supplant Kyle Orton as the backup.

Over the course of eight NFL seasons with three teams, Griese has passed for 16,344 yards with 103 touchdowns and 78 interceptions. The 31-year old has started 72 of 75 games.

The Bengals were scheduled to visit with Griese on Saturday, meaning he could receive a contract offer before leaving Cincinnati. The Ravens and Raiders are also said to have interest in the six-foot-3, 214-pounder.

The list of free agent quarterbacks is shrinking by the day. Within the last week Jon Kitna and Josh McCown signed with Detroit, Gus Frerotte landed in Detroit, while the Redskins sent Patrick Ramsey to the Jets for a sixth round draft pick.

Make Your Best Offer
DL Israel Idonije is expected to get an offer sheet from the Buffalo Bills. He appeared in 11 games for the Bears last season and is capable of playing both end and tackle.

As a restricted free agent, the Bears tendered Idonije at the lowest of the three levels, which is a one-year deal at $712,000. The team has seven days to match any offer he might sign, but if they decline there would be no draft pick compensation.

With more than $20 million in cap space, the Bears are in a position to match an offer and would likely do so considering Idonije's versatility and special teams contributions.

Odds & Ends
As first reported by BearReport.com on Thursday, the team announced the two-year deal with tight end John Gilmore worth $2 million, including $550,000 in guaranteed money.

Although Gilmore is currently the second tight end on the depth chart, the Bears are expected to address the position on the first day of the draft.

The team also terminated the contract wide receiver Eddie Berlin today. Berlin played four games with Chicago in 2005. The addition of Dante Wesley cleared the way for the move. He will be a gunner on punt coverage, a position that Berlin had held in the past. The Bears didn't see Berlin as more than a special teams player.


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