The play of Roy Williams has done nothing to allay concerns and needs for top-tier help at wide receiver for the Bears. But with the injury to Johnny Knox and Devin Hesters development arrow no longer pointing up as a wide receiver, Williams is an enigmatic possibility for 2012.
Williams has said for some weeks that he would like to be re-signed with the Bears and said it again Wednesday.
But he will not command anything close to the 2.4 million (with incentives) he could have received with the one-year Bears contract. A veteran-minimum offer in the 810,000 range is likely the maximum the Bears will offer a now-journeyman wideout who has just 33 catches for 447 yards through 15 largely disappointing games.
I feel like I made plays when the opportunity came, said Williams, who has had a pattern of minimizing mistakes and has been less than half the 70-80-catch receiver coordinator Mike Martz predicted in training camp.
Of course everybody's going to bring up the negatives, which is fine. But for the most part I made enough plays, and I'll be happy to sign, but if not, I'll continue on elsewhere. I love playing this game. I love the game, I love the game on Sundays. I don't like waking up on Mondays feeling like I'm 65, but the work week and the game day, you can't beat it. It's a great feeling.
This is a good football team. I'm looking for a team to go to the playoffs and go to the Super Bowl, and I don't think there's another team than the Chicago Bears, in my honest opinion.
Sometimes the passage of time makes things a little sweeter.
Josh Sitton had been selected to three Pro Bowls while a member of the Green Bay Packers. At the end of training camp last year, the Packers abruptly released Sitton.
On Monday, Sitton was named to his fourth Pro Bowl, replacing former Green Bay teammate T.J. Lang. At age 30, this Pro Bowl was special.
"It's a great honor, always a goal of mine every year," Sitton said via conference call. "It's an honor to me and to the guys I play with, the guys helping me along...
"I would say just the age thing, the older you get, the more you appreciate them. You can't play at a high level in this game so the whole age thing makes it even more special."
[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
When the Bears were forced to go into Week 1 of the 2015 season with a shuffled offensive line, the situation wasn't ideal; Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long moving to right tackle as a hurried fill when neither Charles Leno nor Jordan Mills were an answer.
The 2016 season also began with an unexpected and significant shuffle, but this time with one that immediately bumped up the quality of the line. GM Ryan Pace moved quickly to sign Sitton after his release by the Green Bay Packers, a step that bumped rookie Cody Whitehair from guard to center, where he earned All-Rookie honors from the Pro Football Writers Association of America.
"It was challenging for sure," Sitton said. "It was something I haven't had to do for quite some time but it was stimulating being thrown in and needing to learn the offense in four or five days."
Sitton, who signed a three-year contract worth as much as $21 million with $10 million guaranteed, joins rookie running back Jordan Howard as the two Bears scheduled to play in the Pro Bowl. He started 12 of 13 games in 2016, missing time with an ankle injury but being a strong presence in a line that ranked No. 8 in sack percentage while getting Howard to a franchise-record 1,313 rushing yards even with a rookie center and a group that never played a game together before Week 1 in Houston against the Texans.
"I think we can only get better, now that we'll have an offseason together," Sitton said. "We'll see what we can do."