In the market
Jake Plummer

Posted Feb 14, 2003

Although, the list of free agent quarterbacks won’t be known until the end of the month the Bears have put together an off-season plan that puts the position atop their priority list.

GM Jerry Angelo and his staff have played out several scenarios on how to acquire a starting quarterback. At this point signing a QB looks to be the best solution in their eyes as it would take a rookie years to develop and giving up draft choices in a trade isn’t a philosophy Angelo recommends.

"The veteran obviously is the safest route to go," Angelo said. "We're going to look and explore in all the areas, but we'll start with that one first.

"Obviously I have what I'd like to have happen, but I'm going to be a realistic and first wait to see what the pool is, and the first pool to draw from obviously is the free agent pool."

Although, Angelo said there is a scenario that would see both Jim Miller and Chris Chandler return that’s unlikely.

"We understand the volatility of the position and the durability was a real problem this year," Angelo said. "We do not want to relive that nightmare with our football team, so we have to go out (and find a quarterback)."

The caliber of free agent quarterback the team is able to bring to Chicago will directly influence the round a QB is taken in April’s draft. If the Bears sign a starter then drafting a quarterback in the early rounds is less of a necessity as the team has several other holes to fill.

Angelo said that the team will look to increase speed overall, but particularly players coming from the edge.

"We'll probably look for maybe a little linear player on the edges, somebody that can create a little more pass rush on first down," he said. "We like the way that Alex came along. Maybe that would be a little more prototypical into what we're looking for, more of a defensive end type rather than a defensive tackle type out there. We still want to get the best player. But yes, we'd like to generate a little more speed up front."

So, reading between the lines it looks like the Bears have targeted Terrell Suggs of Arizona State. Suggs, who is just 19, had 24 sacks last season.

The move would be another indication that the team is going to cut either Ted Washington or Keith Traylor to free up time for players such as Alex Brown and a potential draft pick. Traylor, who is scheduled to make $2 million next season, is the more likely of the two to be released.

Bryan Robinson would then move inside fulltime with Washington. Depending on the down and distance the Bears front four could include a rotation of Washington, Robinson, Suggs, Brown and Phillip Daniels.

Washington would play the majority of 1st and 2nd downs, while Daniels would move inside with Robinson in the nickel defense opening up the opportunity for Brown and Suggs to rush from the edges.

There is no way the Bears can pay Robinson or Daniels to be part time players, so Brown and Suggs would compete for a starting job.

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DE Alex Brown (profile)
QB Chris Chandler (profile)
DE Phillip Daniels (profile)
QB Jim Miller (profile)
DE Bryan Robinson (profile)
DT Keith Traylor (profile)
DT Ted Washington (profile)
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