Sunday, March 27, 2011
Posted 11:02 p.m.
By John Mullin
The Bears are going about their pre-draft due diligence, and the visits coaches and personnel figures make between now and the last weekend in April will be the ones that matter far more than the gaggle of workouts and pro days attended up to this point. Whats also going to be of huge significance is where some of the others in the NFC North are looking.
Like the Minnesota Vikings. Specifically, could the Bears be looking at Cam Newton a couple times next season? Dont rule it out.
ESPNs Adam Schefter is tracking the Auburn quarterback, and the Vikings are scheduled to travel to Auburn Wednesday for a private session with Newton. Thisll follow Miami on Sunday and Buffalo on Monday.
What makes this potentially noteworthy is that Minnesota picks No. 12 overall, and as Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins mention in their Access Vikings blog for the Star-Tribune, Vikes personnel VP Rick Spielman made it clear that they will be looking hard at all the top quarterbacks.
Right now Newton is projected to be gone before No. 12. But several factors make this something to watch. Minnesota is the only NFC North team not set at quarterback, with a first-rounder specifically (Bears, Jay Cutler; Packers, Aaron Rodgers; Lions, Matthew Stafford). Theyve made clear theyre not going to hand the job to Joe Webb.
Also, the looming rookie cap limits project to make high first-round picks less of a financial Armageddon than they used to be. At least one supposed elite prospect, sometimes more than one, drops surprisingly on draft day (just ask Matt Leinart or Brady Quinn, or Rodgers, for that matter) and if Newton falls within range, the prospect of the Vikings going up to get him is very real.
It took the NFL quite a while (too long, in fact) to honor Richard Dent with induction into the Hall of Fame. The Bears and the State of Illinois arent waiting as long to have the Colonel put that distinction to very good use.
The Super Bowl XX MVP will join Secretary of State Jesse White, Bears Vice Chairman George McCaskey and Special Projects Director Pat McCaskey on Monday to unveil a new license plate, but its not exactly a vanity plate.
The state passed a law in 2002 permitting sports teams to have special plates designated as Professional Sports Teams license plates. And from the sale of those plates, 25 goes to the states Professional Sports Teams Education Fund and is earmarked for the Common School Fund.
The plates can be ordered through cyberdriveIllinois.com.
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.