Should Bears swap Kellens at tight end?

Should Bears swap Kellens at tight end?
May 21, 2012, 10:20 pm
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It is a drama that plays out at least once, usually more, every offseason. A name veteran comes loose and the debate is whether or how much he would be as an upgrade over what the Bears already have in place.

The latest is tight end Kellen Winslow, once the No. 6-overall pick of the 2004 draft by the Cleveland Browns and most recently the subject of some trade talks involving the Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That didnt happen, which is curious because insiders say Winslow was never a fit with new coach Greg Schianos program and style, and now the Bucs have simply released him.

The expectation is that former Indianapolis Colt tight end Dallas Clark is being signed, which also is an eyebrow-raiser, that the Bucs would prefer a player whos been on the field for only 17 games over the past two years to one who played all 16 last year and caught 75 passes.

But Winslow has knee problems to the point of missing two of every three practice days most of last season. Critics said he was in quarterback Josh Freemans ear constantly and no longer manages to achieve sufficient separation on routes, part of the reason that unofficially half of Freemans NFC-leading 22 interceptions came on efforts in Winslows direction.

The Bears invested a fourth-round pick last month in tight end Evan Rodriguez and committed to Kellen Davis with a new contract.

Knee problems do not abate with age and the Bears went through more than they liked with Tommie Harris before he was released. Moving in that direction again makes little sense and is not expected now for an offense in which Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Devin Hester and others are forming for the long term, which Winslow would not be.