Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011
Posted 10:25 a.m. Updated 2:30 p.m.
By John Mullin
The Cleveland Browns created a bit of a ripple when they released defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, who becomes an immediate unrestricted free agent by virtue of having at least four years of service.
The Bears are looking (always) to fortify the defensive line and Rogers has been a force throughout his 10 seasons. But the Bears making a play for Rogers would be a major surprise, for multiple reasons.
Rogers is a master at blocking kicks (ask long snapper Pat Mannelly) and at controlling areas on the line of scrimmage. But he is a classic two-gap tackle in the mold of Ted Washington when he was a Bear or Pat Williams in Minnesota, rather than a fit for a one-gap scheme similar to the one espoused by Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli.
Rogers controls blockers so linebackers can run and make tackles, meaning that Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher would no doubt go pick him up at the airport if he were coming. But his days as a rush threat are past, and the Bears are looking for more impact inside than theyve gotten from Tommie Harris and Marcus Harrison at this point.
Look for a trickle of players onto the market in the next couple of weeks before the Mar. 3 expiration of the collective bargaining agreement. But dont look for teams to rush into signings, of their own or others players, given the uncertain state of negotiations. No need to add players until theres more indication when and where the season is going.
More important, nearly 500 players are poised to hit the free-agency markets. It will be a buyers market, much to the disappointment of more than a few players.
Theres a lesson here...
Really nice to see former Bears center Jerry Fontenot and wifeStephanie at the Eggshell Caf in Northbrook Thursday. Jerry, one ofthe class individuals Ive had the pleasure to know and cover with thisteam, had that unmistakable glow that only comes from winning a SuperBowl, which he just helped the Green Bay Packers accomplish lastweekend as their assistant offensive line coach.
I did get to actually hold the trophy, for a little while, Jerry said, laughing. On the bus.
Jerry, who succeeded Jay Hilgenberg over the ball in 92, played 239games for the Bears, New Orleans Saints and Cincinnati Bengals, and hewas the Saints starting center when Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy wasNew Orleans offensive coordinator. Hes looking great and is having aball with a very, very good young offensive line up in Green Bay.
Best Jerry story: I happened to see Jerry, a good friend of actor BillPeterson (CSI, To Live and Die in L.A. and more), one evening up inPlatteville during a training camp. I think it was at the Dairy Queenthere on Rte. 151. He looked shaky.
You OK? I asked.
Oh, man, he said, shaking his head. Stephanies pregnant and I just took her to see the movie Seven.
Now, if youve seen Seven and remember how it ends, youll feel for Jerry.
Great guy. Good to see Stephanie and him doing well.
Lesson: Make sure you check out movie details before taking your lovely wife to one.
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.