Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Posted: 10:44 a.m.
By John Mullin
Defensive tackle Anthony Adams receives the Ed Block Courage Award on Tuesday at Maryville. The 2009 winner was defensive end Israel Idonije, one of the three finalists this year for the NFLs Walter Payton Man of the Year.
What the Bears would like very much to happen next is Adams re-signing with the team. How soon or not that might happen will start playing out in a Minnesota courtroom Wednesday when the lawsuit under the names of Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and other notables comes before Judge Susan Nelson.
If the Judge rules in favor of the players, followed by a big if in the form of an appeal by the NFL, the league year would officially begin, meaning open season on signings, like Adams, the nose tackle anchor of a very good defensive front. And for all the attention being paid to other positions on the defense three-technique, linebacker, cornerback if the Bears cant bring Adams back somehow, they have a significant gap to fill that they hadnt planned on.
Adams started all 16 games last year and played all 16 the year before at perhaps the single most high-impact on the defense. The Bears have Henry Melton set to replace Tommie Harris but, with apologies to Matt Toeaina, whos not the presence Adams is and has played more three-technique, they dont have anyone at Adams level in the pipeline.
The Bears have their targets identified for whenever free agency opens. Green Bays Cullen Jenkins projects as the priority, followed by perhaps a Brandon Mebane out of Seattle. Mebane has played some two-gap inside at the beginning of his time with the Seattle Seahawks but also is not the figure that Adams represents.
Consider Adams along with Jenkins the top two signing priorities, ahead of center Olin Kreutz in some organization thinking. Free agency routinely determines some courses of action in the draft; this year that process is reversed. There will be nearly 500 free agents to choose from but the Bears have been effective at re-signing their own where the player and position require it. Adams will be one of those cases.
Colleague Tom Curran out at CSNNE.com will guest on ProFootballTalk Live with Mike Florio at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Tom is close to a lot of the intricacies with the ongoing (more or less) situation between NFL owners and players and always brings a lot to the discussion.
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.