-- Steven Sivak, Grand Junction, Mich.
Assuming Hester stays with the team, fans might have a hard time forgiving him for his comments -- until his next touchdown return. I thought Hester's comments were silly. He is the type of player who needs to feel secure and comfortable. Hester probably is feeling a little isolated now that the general manager, head coach and wide receivers coach who brought him into the league no longer are in Chicago. He also is entering the last year of his contract. Maybe he would like for the new
regime to show their love for him in the form of a contract extension. I still think there is an above average chance Hester is on the team next year. The reason is he gives the Bears something as a return man that would be very difficult to replace. My advice to you Steven would be not to get too caught up in what players say. All that matters is whether or not they perform.
What would the Bears get if they traded Devin Hester? Is a 3rd rounder asking too much?
-- @Scrams45, from Twitter
I believe it would be. Hester is 30 years old, and it apparently has been established that he strictly is a return man moving forward. A third round pick is probably asking too much for an aging specialist.
, "The Human Joystick," was the Devin Hester of his day. In 2007, the
traded a 29-year old Hall to the
along with a third round pick (84th overall) in return for a fifth round pick and a third round pick (82nd overall).-- A fifth round pick might be the most likely compensation for Hester. That's why it probably doesn't make sense to trade him. He's worth more to the Bears than a fifth round pick would be.
-- Mark Early, Arlington, Va.
I don't mean to imply that I have inside information on this, because I don't. But maybe the Bears have not given an indication they want Urlacher back because they don't want him back, or because they haven't decided if they want him back. Clearly it is not a slam dunk he will be asked to come back. If there was no doubt about it, the Bears would have been saying all along that they want him back, as the
, for instance. Part of the decision might be based on what the new coaching staff thinks of Urlacher.
No doubt Brian Urlacher is likely worth more to Bears than other teams, and the Bears may even be willing to overpay a bit based on prior body of work and worth. But if Urlacher were to test free agency, what do you see him being offered, if anything? I'm just not seeing anyone else offering big guaranteed money for him at this point. Do you? Seems like the Bears may need to encourage him to do so, so then their offer seems more than fair in comparison.
-- Ron S, Sammamish, Wash.
Urlacher averaged $8.1 million per year in his last Bears contract. The days of him making that kind of coin are over. Even Urlacher has been realistic about it in his public comments. Players his age just aren't paid the same way players who are 10 years younger are paid. I could be wrong, but I don't think money is going to be an issue between the Bears and Urlacher. My guess is if they decide they want him back, they will be able to come to an agreement. But if they can't come to an agreement, a scenario is possible in which Urlacher tests the market and comes back with reduced expectations.
-- Chuck Durante, Guilin, China
I think it's a pipe dream Chuck. The Bears already have a lot of money tied up in their defensive line, and they likely will have a lot more tied up on the line after they get
under contract. They have two young defensive ends they want to play as much as possible in
. Kruger is a fine player, but the Bears don't need him badly enough to give him the type of big money deal he will command, assuming he hits the open market.
-- Keith M., Brick, N.J.
Bennett is intriguing. He has speed, hands and size -- everything it takes to be one of the better tight ends in the league. But he is seen as somewhat inconsistent and an underachiever. He had a breakout season in 2012 with 55 catches for 626 yards. Prior to last season, he was perceived as a very similar player to
. In fact, the
tried to replace Bennett with Davis, but Davis opted to re-sign with the Bears. Bennett will probably get top dollar. There is a chance he could really blossom with his third team and end up being a fantastic signing. But there also is a chance he could be a bust. There is a definite risk in investing in him. As for Keller, we're not sure what kind of tight end
is going to be looking for, but if he wants one who can block, Keller isn't going to be for him. Keller could give the passing game some juice though. Keller might be more of a bargain coming off a season in which hamstring and ankle problems limited him to eight games and five starts. Myers is very interesting. He had a career year in 2012 with 79 catches for 806 yards for the
. He might not have the kind of top end ability the other two players have, but the former Iowa Hawkeye has the production.
-- Nick Yam, Wheaton
I don't see that as possible, Nick. The Bears have too many needs and not enough draft picks to load up on one position. If they do that, they will come out of the first three rounds with nothing to show for their offensive line or their aging defense, because they don't have a third round pick. I also don't believe Ertz still will be on the board when the Bears choose in the second round.
-- Terry Wilson
If Terrell Owens is playing tight end, I would like to play defensive end and pass rush against him. Not happening, Terry.
-- Eric Weil, Downers Grove
When a player is on the reserve/physically unable to perform list for an entire season, his contract rolls over to the following year. So Knox still is under contract with the Bears.
-- Johnny Bollow, Pasadena, Calif.
Trestman and Cutler will not be permitted to get together to review tape and playbooks until OTAs begin sometime in April. Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement reads, in part, "Prior to the commencement of the Club's official offseason workout program players are not permitted to participate in Club-supervised workouts, Club-supervised practices, group or individual meetings with coaches, group or individual film study with coaches, or group or individual playbook study with coaches."
-- Doug Dvorak
There is no question Young has the ability to be a fine, fine NFL wide receiver. But we'll never see it unless he grows up in a hurry. He didn't get along with teammates, or follow coaches' orders in Detroit. He was not respected in the locker room. His work ethic was questioned. It's worth taking a shot on a player like Young. But I don't think the Rams can count on him, and his presence should not preclude them from making a major investment at the wide receiver position.