Jeff Dickerson blogs about some possible free agents for the Bears to target. He's left out a lot of big names who will either be franchised or are restricted free agents. Any restricted free agent worth pursuing is not obtainable by the Bears. They have no 1st or 2nd round draft pick to compensate the other team if they were able to sign the restricted free agent to an offer. Simply put, Jahri Evans of the Saints and Logan Mankins of the Patriots are not available to the Bears.
Bobbie Williams (RG) -- Cincinnati Bengals
Rex Hadnot (LG/RG) -- Cleveland Browns
Chester Pitts (LG) -- Houston Texans
Stephen Neal (RG) -- New England Patriots
I'm going to take stats from profootballfocus.com and write-ups from footballsfuture.com.
1. Bobbie Williams:
Bobbie Williams, Cincinnati Bengals (33 yrs old)
Bobbie Williams has been one of the league’s most underrated guards, especially as a run blocker. Even at 33, he was good enough to garner a 2nd team All-Pro bid from me. Williams is one of few elite players who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. It would be surprising to see the Bengals let him get to that point without offering him a lucrative extension to stay in Cincinnati for next season.
ProFootballFocus has Bobbie Williams (16 games @ Right Guard) as the 5th best rated Guard for 2009. LINK
As a pass blocker he ranked 11th (Roberto Garza was 8th, Omiyale was 54th, Beekman was 66th). As a run blocker, Bobbie Williams ranked 3rd in the NFL. (Garza 47th, Omiyale 26th, Beekman 32nd).
For Hadnot, Pitts, and Neal; footballsfuture.com did not provide any write-up because they are not as high a quality as some of the premium free agents on their offensive line list. Below is their breakdown from ProFootballFocus:
2. Rex Hadnot: (28 yrs old, 9gms @ RG) 17th overall rank, 33rd pass block rank, 18th run block
Rex hurt a knee in the preseason and missed the first 5 games of the season. He played 15 games in 2008.
3. Chester Pitts: (31 yrs old, 2gms @ LG) injured his right knee:
Pitts underwent surgery to repair the meniscus cartilage and also had microfracture surgery to repair the articular cartilage.
Yeah, let's stay away from mister Pitts please.
4. Stephen Neal: (33 yrs old, 12 gms @ RG) 2nd overall rank, 4th in pass block, 5th in run block
Neal missed time with a head injury and then an ankle injury. There's also this:
Patriots RG Stephen Neal indicated following Sunday's playoff loss that he is considering retirement."I’m not sure how my body is going to feel," he said. "I’m not sure if I’ll keep playing, keep getting in them car accidents each week." Neal is still a difference-making run blocker at age 33, but has battled a variety of injuries and failed to play more than 13 games in a season since 2005.
Neal might retire & Pitts had micro-fracture surgery, so I'll scratch those guys off the list.
So what do you guys think of Hadnot &/or Williams? (Wonder what our head of pro personnel thinks?)