Miller: Signings, character issues could steer Bears clear of CBs

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Miller: Signings, character issues could steer Bears clear of CBs

With the recent signing of veteran cornerbacks Kelvin Hayden and Jonathan Wilhite to make up for the loss of Zack Bowman to the Vikings, it could signal the Bears would target other positions early in the 2012 NFL Draft. There are questionable character issues surrounding the top corners in this years draft crop. Specifically, where the top corners could be selected by the Bears with the 19th overall pick of the first round.

Morris Claiborne, LSU CB, 60", 185 lbs: He is simply off the table as Claiborne most likely will be a top-ten pick. A recent report emerged concerning Claibornes Wonderlic test score, which was a lowly 4. But this is not so concerning as Claiborne has a learning disability that was well known and reported by the National Football Posts Greg Gabriel. Gabriel was head of college scouting for the Bears and is now a contributor for the NFP. Greg followed up with his own story stating, Claibornes learning disability was well known.

Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama CB, 510, 191: Has Jenkins changed his ways since being dismissed from the Florida Gators football program? NFL teams will do interviews at two schools as Jenkins ability is elite, but is he a choir boy or a rabble-rouser? The Bears have had their fair share of both, but after the Sam Hurd debacle a year ago, I highly doubt it. Jenkins was dismissed from Florida for drug (marijuana) related issues. Jenkins came clean at the Combine, but what team is buying in? It wont be the Bears.

Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama CB, 62, 192: Another talented cornerback who recently had marijuana charges dropped. Alabama head coach Nick Saban has vouched for Kirkpatricks character but teams will question IMG, where he is training, as long time journalist Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange has reported there were some unsavory characters allowed into the IMG training facility. Again, the Bears are not going to select a first rounder with any blemishes at all due to last years black eye thanks to Hurd.

Alphonzo Dennard, Nebraska CB, 510 203: No. 19 in the first round is way too high for a player that many think is built for safety. Top end speed is in question with Dennard. Not a chance he'll go at 19, which leaves the Bears with one cornerback with 1st round talent when deciding to select in the first round.

Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina CB, 61 193: Gilmore is young. He elected to forgo his senior year and enter the 2012 draft early. Gilmore is experienced with 40 games played. He has impressed with his athleticism and removed all doubt during this years Combine posting 4.40 speed. Gilmore is moving up draft boards and may have positioned himself second to Claiborne due the off the field issues of the players above.

If the Bears are thinking cornerback, Gilmore would be the only one who may fit in the first round.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria 'surprised' Melky Cabrera hasn't been traded

White Sox manager Rick Renteria 'surprised' Melky Cabrera hasn't been traded

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The White Sox have offloaded more pieces in the past eight months than that furniture store that always seems to be going out of business.

Everything. Must. Go.

Even so, the team hasn’t found any takers for veteran outfielder Melky Cabrera, who finished with four hits in Saturday night’s 7-2 White Sox loss to the Kansas City Royals. Cabrera finished a triple shy of the cycle and drove in two runs. That Cabrera still resides on the South Side is a surprise to White Sox manager Rick Renteria.

“Honestly yeah, to be honest,” Renteria said. “To me he’s a premier Major League baseball player who has been playing outstanding defense. And he has been for us one of the two or three guys who has been timing his hitting in terms of driving in runs when we need them, putting together really good at-bats when we need them. Just playing the game. Yeah, kind of surprised.”

Despite making their intentions known that everyone short of Tim Anderson and Carlos Rodon are available, Cabrera’s name has barely registered a blip on the radar when it comes to trade rumors.

Several factors have probably prevented Cabrera from being dealt, the biggest being his salary. Cabrera is still owed roughly $6.3 million of his $15 million salary, which makes him an expensive option.

Defensive metrics also don’t have much love for Cabrera despite his eight outfield assists. Cabrera’s lack of range has produced minus-6 Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-4.7 Ultimate Zone Rating.

Those figures likely would like have teams lean toward making Cabrera a designated hitter. While he’s been one of the team’s most consistent and prominent offensive performers, Cabrera’s .786 ranks only about 38th in the American League.

As FanRag’s Jon Heyman noted earlier Saturday, to trade Cabrera the White Sox would likely have to eat most of the outfielder’s remaining salary.

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