Bears Make Offer To John St. Clair

Left tackle becomes necessity with Tait retirment

When John Tait broke the Bears heart on Valentine's Day and told the team he was going to retire from the NFL it kind of left the Bears in a bit of a pickle.  They already knew they were going to be going into next season with 2008 first round pick Chris Williams slated to be their starting left tackle, which wouldn't be much of a problem if Williams didn't miss most of 2008 thanks to his back. 

They had also planned on letting 2008's left tackle John St. Clair leave via free agency unless he wanted to stick around for a discount, but now that Tait has retired, the team doesn't have a choice.  They need St. Clair to play right tackle, and with unrestricted free agency awaiting St. Clair come Thursday night the Bears felt making him an offer would be most prudent.

The terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but the offer is not believed to be for the five years that St. Clair is hoping for.  Though that might not matter because he has expressed his desire to stay in Chicago, and he may be willing to sacrifice a few years for a larger signing bonus.

While it is important for the Bears to keep St. Clair in the fold, it's can't come at the expense of common sense.  St. Clair is 32 years old, and although he's a vital factor to the team, he isn't worth anything near the $42 million the Dolphins just gave Vernon Carey.   Which is exactly the deal his agent is going to use as a landmark in negotiating St. Clair's deal.

If the Bears can find a way to get St. Clair to agree to a three-year deal in the $15-$18 million range then he'd be a player well worth keeping.  If not, and they'd be better off looking elsewhere in the free agent market or via the draft.

Along with writing for, Tom Fornelli can also be found contributing at FanHouse, SPORTSbyBROOKS, and his own Chicago sports blog Foul Balls.  He played left tackle in high school, and is accepting offers.

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