Phil Emery vowed after the NFL draft ended that he wasn't done tweaking the roster until the season got under way. Based on track record Chicago Bears fans can take this promise for the truth. The question is who can they expect to possibly join the team as other rosters begin to trim down heading into late August?
One position fans have talked about for months is how the Bears don't have a true fullback on the roster. With Marc Trestman in town they fully expect 2012 draft pick Evan Rodriguez to move from that position back to tight end. A player who could help that along is Vontae Leach. The All-Pro fullback has done a rock solid job for the Baltimore Ravens since joining them in 2011. However, at age 31 the defending champions knew they had to start thinking about a replacement for him, which is why they drafted Kyle Juszczyk out of Harvard. Some would think Baltimore could just put the kid on the practice squad but experts don't think that will happen since a lot of other teams showed interest in him during the draft. That means they will either carry two fullbacks on the 53-man roster or cut ties with Leach.
The Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle hasn't done anything wrong to get him in trouble. His massive frame eats up space and blockers for the defense, allowing Geno Atkins to wreak havoc. He is also a great locker room guy. The problem is the team owes him $5.1 million in 2013 and they have lots of depth behind him in Brandon Thomas and Devon Still. That is not a good combination, even for a solid veteran. Since Chicago doesn't have a true nose tackle on the roster, picking up Peko could give them loads of help up front.
Fans haven't given up the search for another quarterback who could come in and back up Jay Cutler. Chicago may have a shot at landing one of the best in the business. Shaun Hill played terrific football for the Detroit Lions whenever asked. Yet after two-straight seasons in which Matthew Stafford has started every game his price tag of $3.25 million seems more and more steep. If the Lions choose to cut him to save money and he clears waivers, the Bears could find themselves an excellent one-year rental.
The market for corners is very thin this year. Chicago had a couple chances at finding help in the draft but chose to add depth to positions that needed it more. That said all three of their top corners are in the last years of their contracts. Besides that the Bears simply need more bodies on the roster, preferably ones with experience. They may luck out if the Washington Redskins cut Josh Wilson. His contract will count $5.33 million against the cap in 2013, a price the cash-strapped Redskins can't afford. Since Wilson didn't have the best season a year ago common wisdom say they remove him before having to pay it. In turn the Bears could bring him in for valuable depth.
This move will depend very heavily on what happens with the Dallas Cowboys first round pick Travis Frederick. Costa struggled with injuries last season and it exposed Tony Romo to some serious punishment. That is why the team went after a center early since Frederick rated the highest on most boards. Since the Cowboys already gave new deals to their starting guards, that means neither Frederick nor Costa are likely to switch positions. This could mean if the veteran can't hold off the rookie then he may be searching for a new team. Since Roberto Garza is 34-years old, picking up Costa (25) makes too much sense to ignore.
Who do you see the Bears going after?