2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Question marks for Bears as 2012 prep begins

    2012-04-10 17:25

DES PLAINES, Ill. (AP) - It might be a while before the Chicago Bears get a look at all the pieces general manager Phil Emery has assembled in free agency for next season.

The Bears begin their voluntary offseason program with players Monday and it's possible they won't have running back Matt Forte, linebacker Brian Urlacher or running back Kahlil Bell available. Forte can't participate unless he signs his franchise free-agent tender of $7.74 million, and the same is true of Bell, who has received a tender offer as a restricted free agent.

``In the offseason, I tell the guys if you have an issue with your contract, out of season is the time to work on those things,'' coach Lovie Smith said Tuesday before the team's Ed Block courage award was presented to Urlacher. ``That's what Matt is going through right now. I'm on record of how we feel about Matt Forte. We start up Monday. Hopefully he'll be there. If he's not, then we're going to go to work with the players that we have there. We have a lot of time.''

Urlacher's participation will likely be spotty. He suffered a sprained left knee in the regular-season finale and did not need surgery, but he is not going to rush his recovery.

``I've still got 3 1/2 months, four months,'' Urlacher said. ``So I'm definitely not in a big hurry. I've done everything up to this point that I've been asked to do. I'm going to keep doing what I've been told to do. Like I've said ... when the time is right I'll be ready to play. I'm not worried about it. It's not an issue. I'll be good to go.''

The Bears do not have minicamp for the full team until the end of their offseason program, in late June. The late minicamp could also benefit tackle Gabe Carimi, who is coming off knee surgery, and guard Chris Williams, whose 2011 season ended due to a dislocated wrist.

It's less certain when wide receiver Johnny Knox will be available after December back surgery following an injury against Seattle.

``He's making a lot of progress,'' Smith said. ``From the time we saw him on the field lying on the field to where he is right now, you know, making the same type of progress throughout. Things should be OK for him. As far as when he'll be back 100 percent and ready to go, I don't know that.''

Urlacher is ecstatic over the moves the team has made in Emery's first free agency signing period. The Bears acquired eight new players including wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and signing five of their own free agents.

``It's exciting to see us making moves like that because we haven't done that a lot in the past,'' Urlacher said. ``We needed a receiver, we got a receiver. We still have the draft. All the pressure has been taken off of our draft with what he's done so far.''

Urlacher isn't worried about Marshall's off-field problems or his battle with borderline personality disorder. Urlacher thinks Marshall's close relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler will help.

``I'm not worried about him,'' Urlacher said. ``Jay is a straightforward guy. He's been around Brandon. So I don't think there will be an issue.

When the season does start, Urlacher said game officials could be scrutinizing defensive players' hits even more as a result of the New Orleans Saints bounty case.

``It's always touchy,'' Urlacher said. ``It's going be even more so after all this stuff went down.''

Notes: The award given to Urlacher is for inspiration, sportsmanship and courage in difficult situations. Urlacher's mother, Lavoyda Lenard, died unexpectedly early last season. The award is voted on by Bears players. ``Any time your teammates give you an award, that's a big deal,'' Urlacher said.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Deone BucannonJul 24 11:32a

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He [ More ]

Ray RiceJul 24 11:31a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to sources. The announcement is expected Thursday, July 24.

Blake BortlesJul 24 11:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' lower-body mechanics likely will be revised. Bortles' flaw has been over-reliance on his right arm when throwing; he doesn't use his legs enough. A [ More ]

Mikel LeshoureJul 24 11:14a

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp [ More ]

Justin BlackmonJul 24 10:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday, July 23, in Oklahoma.

Jordan PalmerJul 24 10:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jordan Palmer still has the first shot at winning the backup quarterback job, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

R. Griffin IIIJul 24 10:22a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's designed running plays might be 'few and far between,' according to head coach Jay Gruden. He still has the green light to scramble [ More ]

Daniel FellsJul 24 09:42a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells has received the first snap in 11-on-11 drills during the team's two days in training camp. Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson have [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been cleared to practice. Bradshaw is an RB4, but he could be worth more if Trent Richardson fails to produce again.

Roddy WhiteJul 24 08:33a

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White signed a four-year extension with the team that will keep him under team control for the next five years, according to sources.

Donald ThomasJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (hip) and OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps, biceps) have been cleared to practice.

Josh GordonJul 24 08:23a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will have his appeal hearing for his one-year suspension Aug. 1.

Greg OlsenJul 24 01:43a

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen said he is tired of hearing criticism about Carolina's new receiving corps, which is largely made up of journeymen and unproven commodities. Olsen added [ More ]

Aldon SmithJul 24 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is expected to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the near future, which likely would lead to a decision on any discipline for Smith.

Anthony BarrJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr was with the team for just a few days during offseason workouts due to NFL rules. Head coach Mike Zimmer is eager to see [ More ]

Sharrif FloydJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd had a good offseason, but head coach Mike Zimmer thinks the defensive tackle is trying to be too fine. 'Sharrif has a lot of [ More ]

C. PattersonJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will remain on kickoff returns despite an expanded role in the offense this season. 'We want our best players to get their hands on [ More ]

Montell OwensJul 23 11:23p

Detroit Lions FB Montell Owens has company, as the team will employ a more traditional fullback in the offense. They signed FB Jed Collins for the role. Owens is [ More ]

Harrison SmithJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo will be battling during training camp and the preseason for the starting job opposite FS Harrison Smith. 'That will be interesting, [ More ]

Matt CasselJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel saw a majority of the snaps during spring workouts, but QB Christian Ponder has a chance to start, and head coach [ More ]

Chad GreenwayJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway could be used as the starting middle linebacker, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. 'It's a possibility. We keep working him in there. We're [ More ]

Troy NiklasJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (hand) has been cleared to participate in training camp, and was working Wednesday, July 23.

Dan WilliamsJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals NT Dan Williams will open training camp as the team's starting nose tackle with NT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list.

Johnny ManzielJul 23 10:23p

Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine thinks QB Johnny Manziel needs to increase dedication to earn the starting job. 'I think he knows that in order to compete well, [ More ]

Theo RiddickJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick has the chance to break into the rotation at tailback, and he has drawn considerable praise from his teammates and coaches for his development [ More ]

Joique BellJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (nee) missed most of the offseason due to a knee injury, although he has said his condition is minor and he expects to be [ More ]

Jed CollinsJul 23 10:23p

The Detroit Lions are re-incorporating the traditional fullback into their new offensive scheme this season, and that's why they went out and signed FB Jed Collins.

Cheta OzougwuJul 23 07:23p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) cleared waivers and was transferred to the Saints' Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, July 23.

Billy WinnJul 23 06:53p

The Cleveland Browns placed OL Chris Faulk (undisclosed), DE Billy Winn (undisclosed) and LB Tank Carder (undisclosed) on the non-football injury list Wednesday, July 23.

Kyle OrtonJul 23 06:33p

Free-agent QB Kyle Orton (Cowboys) does not want to retire and wants to play in 2014, according to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Conner VernonJul 23 06:23p

The Cleveland Browns placed CB Royce Adams, LB Brandon Magee and WR Conner Vernon on the no-recall waivers list Wednesday, July 23.

Terrance WestJul 23 06:23p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West (undisclosed) said on his Twitter page that he passed his conditioning test and people need to 'stop making up your [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group