Bears’ grand off-season plan

Published: February 26th, 2007
By NFL_Czar's Blog

The Chicago Bears' fan convention is a month away, and head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo will arrive with new contracts.

Smith was given a four-year deal on Wednesday and Angelo received an extension through the 2013 season.

The Bears are an interesting team, in that both Smith and Angelo have publicly supported quarterback Rex Grossman while most fans are wishing they had a better choice at the position.

Behind the scenes, the Bears apparently are prepared to trade some of their best players, ones that were instrumental in winning the NFC championship. They are willing to unload linebacker Lance Briggs, who they believe they will be unable to sign to a long-term contract, running back Thomas Jones and defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, who had only 6 ½ sacks last season, ranking third on the team.

Raiders update

The rumors persist that Michael Lombardi, the Raiders' top personnel executive, won't be back this season with the team. Sean Jones, the former player and scout, tried to supplant Lombardi with the Raiders during last season, suggesting several reforms with owner Al Davis, and his moves ended with him no longer being employed with the Raiders.

Outside of Davis, Lombardi is the only experienced personnel man in Oakland and the only one with extensive knowledge of the league and agent contacts. Although the rumors persist, what would Davis do if he did not renew Lombardi's contract. I mean, if he wouldn't promote Jones, who wanted the job, whom could he hire?

In reading responses to my blog on Sunday, the Raiders do know that Randy Moss can still play at a high level. They don't want to trade him, but the feeling is that Moss would sleep-walk through another season in Oakland because he knows they won't be able to win if they draft JaMarcus Russell and start a rebuilding process. What do you do with a player you're paying $9 million to and he doesn't want to run his routes?

Word is that the Packers might be willing to part with a fourth-round pick as long as Moss is also willing to restructure his contract. He is owed $11 million in 2008.

Miami worried

Did the Dolphins make a mistake in choosing Cam Cameron over Chan Gailey?

There is word that some in the organization are worried that they may have made the wrong decision. But owner Wayne Huizenga didn't want to wait for Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner, who had a solid interview in Miami, or for the Chargers to fire Marty Schottenheimer.

Believe me, Schottenheimer would have been the perfect coach for the Dolphins right now. Instead, they have San Diego's offensive coordinator.

Lions unloading

Detroit will trade cornerback Dre' Bly and pass rusher James Hall, who had five sacks last season before ending up on injured-reserve. The Lions owe Hall a $500,000 bonus next month and they aren't going to pay him. Bly wants out because he's not a classic cover-two cornerback; he's not interested in run-support tackling.

This is why the Titans will have difficulty trading troubled cornerback Pacman Jones. Pacman is a great kick returner, but he also hates to tackle. And with so many teams playing the Tampa Two scheme, you can scratch those teams off any potential trading list. Jones, though, if the league stiffens its off-field policy, could be facing a major suspension if the Las Vegas allegations are proven to be accurate.