There seems to be a lot of moping about the break-up between Olin Kreutz and the Bears. He's been there 13 years. He made six Pro Bowls. The guys in the locker room love him.
But is the guy worth re-signing?
He's 34 years old. And while he was a good player in his prime, his prime is past.
Last season, the offensive line was abysmal. That means the Bears need to reload up front. A good offensive line has chemistry, and chemistry can't come overnight. Realistically, the Bears are 2-3 years from Super Bowl contention* and that's around the time Kreutz would retire anyway. Better to clean the slate now and set up for a run in a few years.
It puts the Bears in a weird spot. The defense is old, but the offense is young. To be competitive, both sides will need to peak simultaneously. How many more years can Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs stay on top of their game? It might be time to look to the future there as well.
For those who think this is blasphemy, look at your defending Super Bowl champions. The Packers cut ties with Brett Favre after an incredible year. Two years later, Favre had one of his best seasons with the Vikings. But last year, Aaron Rodgers finally blossomed and the Packers won. You've got to jump ship before the ship runs aground.
As Michael Wilbon says, "Father Time is undefeated."
* Sure, the Bears made the NFC Championship Game last year, but the team was not that good. A soft schedule, a bye week and a playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks would give nearly every team a shot at a title. This year looks to be a bigger challenge.