Well, boys and girls, the first day of free agency is drawing to a close, so let's take a look at who's signed, who's visiting, and HOLY CRAP WE GOT MARSHALL!!! Sorry, but... you know what, no apologies. The Marshall signing is a massive move and starts the Emery regime off in about the best possible direction. Oh, and we resigned Tim Jennings and finally have a decent backup quarterback in Jason Campbell. Jump ahead for more signings from around the league, and the latest rumors on free agents still available.
Quick thoughts on the Bears' moves on day one of free agency: I still can't believe we got Brandon Marshall for two third-round picks, and like some of you I'm happily eating some crow today for never thinking it was possible; Jason Campbell signed for only a one-year deal but is an obvious and instant upgrade as our #2 QB; Tim Jennings needed to come back to allow the Bears some continuity at the CB#2 spot and the chance to pursue other positions in free agency. Overall, those three moves are solid, but obviously the Marshall deal is fantastic. Plus, he's under contract for three seasons at about $9.2 mil per year, which is cheaper than V-Jax (who B.M. is younger than as well), and he's a lot better than Garcon. It feels so good not to have Jerry around anymore, doesn't it?
Photo courtesy of David Taylor
And really, thank goodness Emery swindled Marshall out of Miami because the receiver market is drying up fast: Vincent Jackson is gone to Tampa Bay for 5 years and $55 million, Colston resigned with New Orleans, and Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon went to the Redskins. The Chargers are interested in either Laurent Robinson or Robert Meachem to replace V-Jax, while Meachem is currently in Buffalo with Super Mario on a visit. Reggie Wayne is in talks to return to the Colts. Cortland Finnegan appears to be heading to St. Louis for 5 yrs, $50 mill.
9:30 pm update: Colts resign Reggie Wayne (Hat Tip to MWM54).
Anyway, some quick updates and thoughts on other potential free agent targets for the Bears:
Mario Williams DE/OLB Hou: Right now the Bears appear out of it primarily because the Bills are expected to offer Super Mario more total money and more guaranteed money than the Bears gave Peppers. He's visiting Buffalo tonight and the Bills are hoping to sign him (and Meachem) before leaving Buffalo. If they're offering that much, I don't see how Chicago matches that contract.
Jeremy Mincey DE Jax: The Bears are in hot pursuit of Mincey, however, and are hoping to sign him soon. The 28-year-old had eight of the Jags' 31 sacks last season, and presently has no other strong interest from other teams. Mincey was rated the 12th best defensive end last year according to PFF.
Kellen Davis TE, Chi: Kev posted it earlier, but it bares repeating that Davis will visit Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Cincy, although according to PFT he would likely be a backup with each team.
Carl Nicks G NO: A visit with the Bucs is his only scheduled one so far.
Eric Winston T Hou: Winston has visits scheduled with Chiefs, Dolphins, and Rams. No word on any interest from Bears or any rumor of contact/interest between Bears and any free agent offensive lineman.
If you come across any late-night news, hit up the comments section or give us a fanshot (link it either way). And if you're in the mood for some expletive-laced celebratory commentary, head back to the open thread overflow. We're strictly a PG-13 posting here. For now, I'm getting another beverage from the fridge and starting up another Madden season. Here I come Marshall!