Berrian's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine that he expects Berrian to reach the free-agent market since Chicago declined to use the franchise tag on him, which would have yielded him a one-year contract worth $7,848,000.
"Obviously, I'm always happy when a player doesn't get franchised because I don't like the franchise tag," Rosenhaus said. "Bernard is going to continue to discuss his contract with the Bears. They'll stay in the loop. He'll more than likely be a free agent and will continue to work with Chicago through that process."
Last year, the Bears franchised linebacker Lance Briggs, and it didn't sit well with him. He said he was prepared to sit out the season, but ended up showing up to training camp without missing significant time. Rosenhaus said he wasn't sure if that played a decision in the Bears' decision to not franchise Berrian.
"I can't really speak for Jerry Angelo in that capacity, but he has said to me in the past he's not really a fan of using the franchise tag," Rosenhaus said.
Last year, the Vikings courted wide receiver Kevin Curtis heavily but eventually lost out to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Vikings said they actually offered Curtis a better deal than the Eagles. In 2007, Curtis' cap number was $6,333,333.
"I expect there to be a lot of interest in Bernard Berrian," Rosenhaus said. "… The Bears are going to continue to be in the mix as we continue to talk with other teams. We're going to have a good, healthy dialogue with them."
Childress said Rosenhaus' assessment of the situation was fair and called the decision mutual.