"Olin Kreutz is being shown the door over 500k? What an outrage!" This is the refrain I'm seeing repeated ad nauseum in the open threads and elsewhere. Why is this an outrage? He's a 34 year old center, definitively on the downside of his career. We offered him 3 million for a swan song season, he came back and demanded 5 million. That's fine. That's good negotiation. However, the Bears gave an ultimatum of 4 million and get in camp. Kreutz responded by asking for 500k more. For every single person lamenting the Bears blowing up the deal over 500k, you need to look also at Kreutz himself, and his willingness to do the same thing.
Olin Kreutz is not only ready to abandon ship over 500k, but he's willing to harm the Bears front office's ability to negotiate effectively in future deals for the same amount.
Olin didn't look great last year in run blocking, and while his pass blocking was decent, that has a lot more to do with the rest of the line being easier pickings than it does any miraculous effort.
Pass Rush is all about the path of least resistance, and does anyone in this thread really think that any other team sent anyone at any time at Kreutz instead of the young ungelled and often average skilled rest of the line?
Kreutz was without a doubt in decline last year, and will not be better this year with even less time to prepare. We need a new center next year either way, so we upped our initial offer for a swan song season by a million dollars, and told Kreutz that's it. He decided to come back again after being told that's it. To cave in, even over 500k, sets a terrible precedent in future negotiations. Our ultimatums would essentially become worthless. You don't want to eat crow and harm bargaining positions even over your star position, let alone an aging veteran in need of replacement.
You want to crow about loyalty and respect? Loyalty and respect got Kreutz an extra million. Kreutz thought greed and desperation would get him an extra 500k, instead it got him shown the door.
Are the Bears front office cheap for no reason at times? Sure. This isn't one of them.