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Every year, between the months of February and August, NFL teams are hustling and bustling to make their roster that much better so they can showcase the Lombardi Trophy in their trophy room at team headquarters.

Such moves can either be considered “blockbuster” (as in the Washington Redskins signing DT Albert Haynesworth on the first day of free agency) or simply “insignificant” (the Green Bay Packers signing OL Duke Preston). No matter the publicity, the front office of such teams consider every off-season move as a necessary step their team must make to get them that much more closer to the “Promised Land”.

The Chicago Bears are no exception. Though the franchise has developed the personality tag as, “non-aggressive” during the off-season, signing only a couple of insignificant free agents and usually trading their top draft picks away for a slew of late ones, coming off a second straight season lacking a playoff berth changed all that. GM Jerry Angelo and HC Lovie Smith are feeling the heat and the '09 off-season has become one that Bears fans will remember forever.

Here's a look at the acquisitions:


QB - Jay Cutler (If he comes anywhere near the production he had in Denver last year, he'd be the most successful Bears QB of the decade. He is already the most talented and most proven.)

QB - Brett Basanez (Who? Career third string/practice squad QB will back up Caleb Hanie who must be the Bears best kept secret for earning the #2 role after only an impressive pre-season last year).

TE - Michael Gaines (Basically signed as en extra lineman posing as a TE to help pave extra cut-back lanes for HB Matt Forte. With quality personnel at the position thus, making it perhaps the Bears deepest, this was a bit of a head-scratcher. However, Gaines, brings solid blocking ability that is not as up to bar with incumbents Greg Olsen, Desmond Clark, and Kellen Davis).

OT - Orlando Pace (All-Pro and future Hall of Famer, brings a legendary anchor on the offensive line...if healthy.)

OT - Kevin Schaffer (A talented bookend who loves to run-block will provide the Bears great depth at either side of the O-line, especially if injuries continue to nag Pace and if Chris Williams struggles).

OG - Frank Omiyale (Who? A young, unknown lineman who the Bears must've scouted and got high on while he was in college and missed him in the draft. As soon as he hit the free agent market, the Bears gobbled him up like he was the best available guard. He is expected to replace an already solid Josh Beekman at the LG position).

LB - Pisa Tinoisamoa (An ideal cover-2 LB [athletic and fast] and a guy that Lovie Smith can vouch for [however we do remember the Adam Archuleta mistake]. Pisa was a tackling machine in St. Louis last year [104], and that kind of consistency would be a welcomed commodity to a Bears defense that didn't meet expectations at all last year. Pisa has the potential to be a great defensive pick-up and seems to be the fan favorite in the competitive position battle for the OLB opposite of Lance Briggs between Nick Roach, Hunter Hillenmeyer, and Jamar Williams).

S - Josh Bullocks (The former starting FS of the New Orleans Saints a year ago, is brought in to help shore up another worrisome position for the Bears. Bullocks has the physical tools to excel but has never put up the stats).

S - Glenn Earl (2 years absent from the league, Earl was signed to further deepen the safety position. Earl is mainly a strong safety who is not afraid to hit, think Kevin Payne).

Of course none of these acquisitions were more publicized than the "Jay Cutler deal" which is leading many football analysts and fans salivating for another Bears acquisition; a big-time receiver.

The Bears stand firm on their belief that they are confident with the receivers already on their roster, but apparently, no one else in the world is. The Bears were rumored to have aggressively pushed for Arizona Cardinals wideout, Anquan Boldin during the draft but to no avail. The Bears are also believed to be pursuing information on the Plaxico Burress fiasco as well. So the Bears are at least entertaining possibilities. One wonders if they're perhaps in the hunt for Cleveland Browns WR, Braylon Edwards.

With so little talent in the free-agent pool at the position with the best consisting of Marvin Harrison and Amani Toomer, the Bears only choice of adequately addressing the position, would be adding someone who is wearing a different team's jersey right now, or is in court.

-Joshua D. Aldis


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