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Catching Up

Just to catch up on some Bears news while I was away, here are some its from Fanball:

The Bears signed kicker Matt Fordyce to a two-year contract on Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reports. Fordyce has spent the last two preseasons with the Cardinals.

Starting strong-side linebacker and restricted free agent Hunter Hillenmeyer will be tendered a qualifying offer at the start of free agency, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Not only is cornerback and kick returner Jerry Azumah not expected to be back with the Bears, but he may be forced into early retirement because of ongoing hip and neck problems. 'I'm not going to comment on any physical issues he may or may not be having,' agent Jon Feinberg told the Chicago Sun-Times. 'Speculating [that he'll retire] would be incredibly premature.'

The Bears have reached an agreement with offensive lineman Terrence Metcalf on a six-year contract extension. The deal, according to ESPN's Len Pasquarelli, could be worth as much as $12.5 million and includes a $3.5 million signing bonus.

Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner confirmed Sunday at the team's fan convention that he hopes to obtain a pass-catching tight end via the draft. He noted that coaches want players who can do it all, but "if I had to compromise something, we have to have a guy who can stretch the field," Turner told the Chicago Tribune. The Bears tight ends accounted for roughly 12 percent of the team's receptions last season.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo is still negotiating with the agent who represents linebacker Lance Briggs. "These things take time," Angelo told Sunday's Chicago Sun-Times. "There are always two sides, and we're working through it as we speak. We've talked about several proposals, and I'll leave it at that." Briggs earned a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl roster with 107 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, and a touchdown last season.