As Pete brought to our attention in the Den this morning, one of the proposals for the new CBA is that players receive unrestricted free agency after four years instead of the previous six. The Bears currently have three players on their roster that fall into this category, and two have recent starting experience. Starting strong safety Danieal Manning and possible starting strong side linebacker Nick Roach will both become free agents under this scenario. My personal feelings on them are that they should both be brought back, but if either prices themselves out of market value I'm OK with both walking.
I thought Manning played an exceptional strong safety after years of position switching, and he deserves a new contract. But by Chicago not working out a long term deal with him last offseason he might want to test the open market. I think the Bears should pay him a salary comparable to other good safeties with some incentives, but not some All Pro type money. If a team throws that kind of cash at him, say sayonara.
A Roach deal may be a bit more complicated. Pisa Tinoisamoa is also a free agent, and he was the starter at the Sam last year. The Bears will have to weigh the cost vs. play vs. age of each and decide which would make the most football sense to retain. I don't think they'll bring them both back unless the market isn't very hot for either.
The 3rd guy that falls into this category is reserve corner and special teams standout Corey Graham. I think the Bears were already prepared to allow him to walk away, even though they tendered him an offer. Graham had success when he did start and is a physical corner, so my guess is some team will offer him close to starter money, and the Bears won't match. I'd love to see him return, but it's unlikely.
Bears fans, what do you think about potentially losing one, or two, or all three of these players?