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The Bears Den: March 13, 2013 - Offseason news and notes

He gone! Well, almost certainly.

Jonathan Daniel

Bears sign LT Jermon Bushrod, TE Martellus Bennett - Brad Biggs: The to-do list for the Bears to help Jay Cutler is just about completed after two big free-agent signings Tuesday.

Deadline passes with Brian Urlacher now a free agent - Vaughn McClure: Veteran MLB now one of their own players the Bears will consider on the open market.

Peter King's TMQB - Wallace makes sense in Miami, plus reader mail.

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Martellus Bennett signing

Bears agree to terms with Martellus Bennett - Larry Mayer: The Bears on Tuesday addressed a key need on the first day of NFL free agency, agreeing to terms on a four-year contract with TE Martellus Bennett.

TE Martellus Bennett set to sign with Bears - Vaughn McClure: The Bears targeted the TE position in free agency, and they moved quickly Tuesday to acquire one of the best available.

Kev H: Bears sign TE Martellus Bennett

Two-way TE Martellus Bennett a perfect fit - Dan Pompei: Martellus Bennett makes perfect sense for the Bears as their primary free-agent signing and automatically makes their offense more potent.

Bears strike first with deal for TE Bennett - Bob LeGere: A vast wasteland the past two seasons, TE becomes a possible strength for the Bears with the signing of unrestricted free agent Martellus Bennett, arguably the most complete TE available.

[Video] Martellus Bennett highlights from 2012 - Adam L. Jahns: Bennett is a big upgrade over Kellen Davis, Matt Spaeth and Kyle Adams. The Bears ranked last in receptions by TEs in 2011 and 2012.


Jermon Bushrod signing

Bears land free-agent LT Bushrod - Larry Mayer: Shortly after adding tight end Martellus Bennett, the Bears agreed to a five-year contract with two-time Pro Bowl LT Jermon Bushrod.

Bushrod signing tackles Bears' protection problem - Dan Pompei: Of all the tackles who made it to free agency, Jermon Bushrod clearly was the best fit for the Bears.

Dane Noble: Bears sign Pro Bowl OT Jermon Bushrod

Bears, Jermon Bushrod agree to a 5-year, $35.965 M deal - Sean Jensen: Two-time Pro Bowler to follow Kromer to Chicago, as the two will be keys in turning around one of the NFL’s worst OLs.

Bears sign left tackle Bushrod - Bob LeGere: The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Bushrod immediately upgrades an OL that has allowed an unacceptable 149 sacks over the past three seasons.

Bears finally find legit LT - Kevin Seifert: Three years of horrendous pass protection have finally compelled the Bears to address their OL.

Bushrod: Chicago was the best fit - Scott Krinch: The 28-year-old ex-Saint has familiarity with Aaron Kromer during his time in New Orleans and that was a key factor in him choosing Chicago.


Further analysis

Bears pull a fast one in free agency - Dan Pompei: The Bears stunningly fill two huge needs on Day 1 when they land two who were unequivocally the best fits for their team.

Emery makeover of Bears offense reaches new levels - Moon Mullin: GM has now brought in a Pro Bowl WR, Pro Bowl LT, and a TE whose 55 receptions are second only to Greg Olsen’s 60 in 2009 by a Bears TE in nearly a half-century, since Mike Ditka’s 75 in 1964.

[Video] View from the Moon - Moon Mullin breaks down Emery's impact moves in free agency.

Bushrod, Bennett signings have addressed problems for Bears - Sean Jensen: The moves address glaring problem areas for the Bears’ offense, which ranked 28th in the NFL last season.

Bears' philosophy shifts from defense to offense - Kip Lewis: Phil Emery made the decision to sign those players before signing the team’s own free agents -- a sign he valued outside talent more than in-house talent.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - The SportsTalk live panel reacts to the Bears' big free agent signings.

Free-agent bonanza provides draft flexibility - Bob LeGere: Bears now have the option of taking BPA in the draft, rather than knowing they must go OL and TE.

Will Bears’ busy day translate into success - Mike Imrem: Phil Emery's flurry of activity Tuesday lifted the Bears closer to contention in the NFC North and maybe even in the entire NFC.

Bears' free-agent frenzy - Jon Greenberg: These deals were fun for Bears fans already desperate for change. And change will come because now the Bears have to rearrange some contracts and cut some guys loose to stay under the salary cap.

The Craig Steltz Fan Club: Day 1 recap: Bears make splash in Free Agency

Urlacher begins his first free agency - Michael C. Wright: Not to say the Bears won’t eventually sign Urlacher to a deal, but as of last week, his agent submitted a contract proposal to the team and was waiting for a counteroffer.

Bears showing no urgency in regards to Urlacher - Michael Silver: If the Bears are planning to try to bring him back for a 14th season, they're doing a good job of keeping their intentions unknown; meanwhile, Dallas are showing some mild interest.

Free Agency day 1 winners - For what it's worth, Brian McIntyre lists the Beloved among the teams who did well.


Luciano Pavarotti's final performance, at the opening ceremony of the Turin Winter Olympics in February 2006.