Seahawks sign wide receiver Engram

Just days after James Williams and Koren Robinson were sidelined with injuries following the 49ers game, the Seahawks pulled another rabbit out of the hat and signed veteran receiver Bobby Engram, who was released Tuesday from the Chicago Bears as part of a youth movement. Mike Holmgren said after signing veteran quarterback Trent Dilfer, that he 'makes me sleep a little better at night.' Perhaps with the signing of a veteran receiver like Engram, the coach may want an extra alarm clock.

Engram, 28, will sign a one-year deal Thursday that includes a base salary of $447,000 and incentives that could earn him close to $900,000 if met.

Engram's release prompted many to question the caliber of player that Seattle landed. Hear it straight from the Chicago Bears' insider source:

Special from Chicago Bear Report
by Gene Chamberlain
Lake Forest – The Bears continued to get younger on cutdown Tuesday, but whether they will get better remains to be seen.

Veteran wideout Bobby Engram, cornerback Thomas Smith and defensive end Clyde Simmons were cut and two other players signed injury settlements and were waived, bringing the roster to 68. They need to be at 53 Sunday.

"This was not an easy day for anybody around here with the release of Bobby Engram, Clyde Simmons and Thomas Smith, three veterans that have played in the league and will go on to play in the league," coach Dick Jauron said. "But it was a decision that we agreed on. There was certainly an agreement on the direction we needed to go."

Engram, the team's second-round draft pick in 1996, is seventh on the team's all-time receptions list and was coming off major reconstructive knee surgery. When the Bears announced in training camp that rookie David Terrell would play flanker, Engram's position, the future looked cloudy for the six-year veteran out of Penn State.

"I was surprised, but not totally shocked," said Engram. "I'm not a dumb guy. I kind of saw what was happening." With Marcus Robinson returning, possibly by the season's second week, Terrell needing playing time, third-year player Marty Booker proving capable in preseason and several other young wideouts getting a look -- including Dez White, D'Wayne Bates and Ahmad Merritt -- the Bears opted to let Engram go.

"The young players have ascended," general manager Jerry Angelo said.

Engram felt the Bears deceived him during preseason by resting him after anterior cruciate ligament surgery last year, all the while making him think they were pointing toward having him healthy for the regular season. "I was being told, 'We're bringing you back slow,' and I still thought that I was in a fight for the second, if not the first, receiver (job) and then this turn of events comes about," he said.

Engram feels somewhat sorry for the remaining veterans on the team who may have to suffer through another losing season, as well as Jauron, whose job status could be in jeopardy. A season with inexperienced players would make a fifth straight losing year for the Bears more likely.

"I kind of feel bad for coach Jauron and the situation he's being put in," Engram said. "I don't know who's making the decisions. I didn't get any pretty straightforward answers from them."

The Bears expect to see Engram and Smith continue to lead productive careers. Engram is 28, Smith 30. "It's not that we don't feel Bobby can't play. Bobby can play and he will play for somebody," Angelo said. "That's what's hard. You don't like to let players out of the locker room that you know still have a life left in them and are truly competitive players that you can win with. And Bobby is that type of player. "It was a tough decision."
For more, visit The Bear Report

Sign up now for a monthly or annual Insiders Pass to SI's Premium Ticket. Hey, it's cheaper than a beer at Safeco! Top Stories