There has been a lot of talk about Running backs and their possible affiliation with the Bears. It has stretched from the bashing of Benson to the non stop talk about free agents like Michael "The Burner" Turner. Turns out that the Bears have done nothing to alleviate our RB situation so far the off season. As it stands we are going into the season with the following players.
Cedric Benson: The highly acclaimed 4th pick from what now seems like ages ago. He hasn't panned out as a full time starting back by any stretch of the imagination and with multiple leg injuries he isn't coming off as durable.
Adrian Peterson: The "other" Adrian Peterson is a good backup and one of our better Special Teams players. We may need to keep him around just for ST use.
Garrett Wolfe: The Shorty from NIU was mis used last year and didn't make a difference for the Bears. I doubt he will get better until he has been in the league for about two more years. Ohhandbytheway, he was a third Round pick by our man Angelo who may be hesitant to let him go.
This leave us in a bad spot as we have two unreliable RB's and one RB who just isn't ready to contribute in the NFL just yet. This position need some fierce competition in training camp, and by the way it looks it seem that the Team will be content with taking a player in the middle of the draft and going with that. However, lets hope they are trying to be more proactive and look at our remaining options in Free Agency and the Draft.
Kevin Jones: (Hat tip to Doctor Chicago in the Diaries) In a recent development Matt Millen has released the Lions promising RB. I say promising because he has had his fair share of injuries. I believe he has the talent to be a premier RB in this league. When he had 20 carries he would average over 4.0 yards a carry, and last year he was in the wacky Mike Martz offense where he would run the ball less than ten times. He could be a good guy to bring in for cheap and compete in camp. However, I think that would be detrimental to sign him because it would fit into Angelo's uber conservative off season plan of signing cast offs for cheap. Keep in mind that signing him would obviously be scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Marion Barber III: If only Angelo had the balls to make a move... if only.
Shawn Alexander: People have been chirping about him, but I want to stay away from him like Superman wants to avoid Kryptonite. He hasn't done anything since his line was dismantled in Seattle. His real talent lied in Steve Hutchinson who is now insuring that Adrian Peterson dosen't get touched until he has already gained 5 yards.
Jonathan Stewart: In an interesting development Stewart had surgery on one of his right toe's and will be out for 3-5 months. The article I linked to is saying that this shouldn't hurt his draft stock at all, but I wonder if he could slip to the end of the first like Willis MaGahee did in 2003 to the end of the first. Granted MaGahee basically blew up his knee and still was a first rounder. So maybe a better way of looking at it is that we can count him out as a possibility at the 14 spot.
Rashard Mendenhall: This guy appears to be the big winner in everyone's mind. The most potential, the most talent, the most likely to succeed... you get the picture. He hails from Skokie, IL and Niles West HS. I live in the Skokie area now and people around here talk about him all the time. The HS Seniors I know talk about how he was a super dominant in Football, but more so in Track. The guy is a speed demon and has left an impression on the area. There is only one fear in my mind with 'Shard is that his popularity in the area. I don't know about his family background, personal life or anything like that, but I wonder how much of a distraction it would be for him to be so close to home. Today a talking head on ESPN1000 (Jeff Dickerson I think) said that "a source" said that the U of I was not sad to see him go. Said that he had attitude problems and such. NOW, I know this could all be a bunch of convoluted Hoo Haa and vicious rumormongering, but I would still say that my fear is him being so close to home and distracted. I will admit that is merely a fear and not a concern. I like him and wouldn't mind seeing him in a Bears uniform despite my strong feelings towards the Bears drafting Ryan Clady in the first.
So what it comes down to is our thoughts and speculation on where the team will go. What do you think about Mendenhall and his proximity to Halas Hall and the City? Should we take a chance on Stewart since he will be there at 14? Let's here it in the comments, and here's hoping Angelo grows a set and try to get Marion Barber III.
What route should the Bears go with the RB Situation?
This poll is closed
Draft Rashard Mendenhall
Draft Jonathan Stewart
Draft someone in rounds 2-4
Sign Kevin Jones
Stand Pat with what we got and focus on the O-Line