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Bears To Franchise Berrian?

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This bit of news is a bit confusing or John Clayton is just late to the ball game.  Clayton seems to think that the Bears recent moves were for the purpose of laying the franchise tag on Berrian.

Bears make space: Clearing $10.4 million worth of cap room with the release of wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad, right tackle Fred Miller and defensive tackle Darwin Walker strongly suggests the Bears might franchise receiver Bernard Berrian. Next to Randy Moss, Berrian is perhaps the most explosive receiver available in free agency. With close to $30 million in cap room, it would seem silly for the Bears not to protect one of their best young offensive players even though the franchise number is $7.848 million.

In the end maybe the Bears do slap him with the franchise tag, but we didn't exactly let go of Pro Bowl caliber players.  We let go of three vets who were costing money and weren't getting the job done.  The Bears do plan to be active in Free Agency with both their own players and some other, so clearing out the trash now is a good thing, but as of early yesterday morning, the Bears have offered Berrian a contract.  Sounds like they are more interested in signing him long term, than just going straight for the franchise designation.