Chicago Bears: Why OL Should Be First and Second Priority in Free Agency

Joseph HigginsContributor IIJuly 28, 2011

LAKE FOREST, IL - MAY 4:  The head coach Lovie Smith (L) and general manager Jerry Angelo of the Chicago Bears look over players during a rookie mini-camp practice at Halas Hall May 4, 2007 in Lake Forest, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Sidney Rice is gone and he'll never be coming back, at least for now.

Arguably the top wide-receiver in this year's free agency has gone to greener, rainier pastures and the hopes of Chicago finally landing a top receiver are gone.

That scare of the potential trading away of Greg Olsen could have made matters worse, too.

But there should be no panic.

Yes, Johnny Knox, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett etc. are all undersized, but they got the job done for the most part last season right?

The men upstairs have already addressed the WR need by signing UDFA Dan Sanzenbacher (he's only 5'11", people.)

So clearly the height issue wasn't heard by Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith so they're going to continue by adding speed to the receiving corps.

With that being said, the majority (if not rest, depending on how active Chicago is in the free agency) of pickups from here on out need to be for the offensive line. The first, obviously, being re-signing Olin Kreutz.

The man's old, we know, but you can't find leadership and heart like his within any other, new, player. Sign him to a one, maybe two year deal. I mean they already have a successor lined up for him (Alex Linnenkohl was signed also as a UDFA on Tuesday.)

As I look at's Free Agency Tracker I sadly don't see the famous Bears' "C" symbol next to any of the top OT/OG players. It's only next to that of Olin Kreutz's (thankfully) and Jason Babin's.

Now I know that most of the top prospects for O-line have been re-signed or picked up by different teams, but why not try and beef up the trenches? They gave up 56, count them, 56 sacks last season surely adding more depth and experience to the line can only make it better.

The current group of receivers for Chicago is not that bad to be completely frank. Yes, I know I may have bashed them in previous articles for being the reasons why Jay Cutler has thrown so many interceptions and what not, but that doesn't mean I don't like them.

None of them will ever be true No.1 receivers elsewhere, but with another year in Mike Martz's offensive system and they could turn out to surprise us.

Simply put, Cutler needs more protection. With that he'll have more time in the pocket thus making less mistakes.

They need to upgrade from a wooden fence to a wrought iron fence (if you understand my analogy.)

Obviously there are other places where the Bears need work. Adding another cornerback, outside linebacker, wide receiver or defensive tackle would be among the positions needed to be addressed, but for now O-line needs to come first, that's all I'm saying.


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