Big hole to fill

The Bears lost one of their most productive and charismatic players Tuesday. <!--Default NodeId For Rosevelt Colvin is 661287,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:661287]>Rosevelt Colvin</A> signed a multimillion-dollar deal with the <!--Default NodeId For New England is 93,2005--><A HREF=>New England</A> Patriots, thus leaving the Bears with a void at two positions.

The contract is reportedly worth $30 million over seven years and included a signing bonus of $7 million. Colvin visited five other NFL cities before New England stepped forward as the team he wanted to play for.

"It felt like it was a better fit for me," Colvin said up on signing with the Patriots. "Obviously they've been winning for a while. Coach Belichick and his staff have developed a scheme that they feel is good and it fits them and I was impressed about everything."

Colvin could fit in as a pass rusher in a 3-4 scheme the Patriots are considering using. He has 10.5 sacks in each of the last two seasons.

It's unclear if the Bears were given a chance to match the offer, but in all likelihood the team wouldn't have matched the contract considering Brian Urlacher's impending free agency.

The money that was given to Warrick Holdman in last year's free agency period marked the end of the Colvin tenure in Chicago. There is no way the team can pay all three linebackers big money in a salary cap run league.

Signing a quarterback is the team's top priority and giving Colvin that kind of coin would hamper the team's flexibility this year and for years to come.

In the meantime, Colvin leaves a whole in two areas. Bryan Knight will likely replace Colvin at strong-side linebacker. While, the team could address their increasing pass rush need with their first-round pick.

Terrell Suggs is becoming the apparent choice of the Bears. The defensive end set the NCAA record with 24 sacks as a junior.

The Bears will not have to wait long to see Colvin on the field. The Bears travel to New England for the third preseason game of the year. A fourth-round draft choice of the Bears in 1999, Colvin has totaled 210 tackles, 26 sacks, seven forced fumbles, three recoveries and eight passes defensed in 56 appearances and 36 starts.

Colvin said he'd remember his time in Chicago as fun.

"I wish them the best of luck, all of my friends and my fans that I leave behind," Colvin said. "It's tough but being a professional you have to be able to do your job in any given place, that's what they call it being a professional athlete.

"I can't control some of the things that go on outside of the locker room past myself. The only thing I can control is my effort on the field and my performance each and every weekend and if they decide to go in a different direction that's their problem to have. I'm going to be me and like I said, I am going to be me in New England, not in Chicago."

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