The NFL lockout appears to be on its last legs and when it's officially over the Bears will have two issues requiring immediate attention. First, depending on when the new collective bargaining agreement is ratified, the Bears may have to scuttle plans to appear in the Hall of Fame game set for August 7 against the Rams because there won't be enough time to prepare for what is historically the first preseason game of the season.
Second, like every other team in the league, Chicago will be part of a mad scramble to re-sign their free agents and pursue others on the open market who best fit what they want to do in 2011 and beyond.
Finding Jay Cutler a legitimate pass-catching threat to go along with Devin Hester, Johnny Knox and Greg Olsen has been oft-mentioned as a priority. And even if the reality is that Chicago should focus on re-signing center Olin Kreutz before doing anything else, there's something to be said for giving Cutler more weapons at the skill position, too. Which brings us to Santana Moss, the soon-to-be Redskins free agent.
We've previously written that Moss could be a possible free-agent target (along with just about everybody else, from Plaxico Burress to Chad Ochocinco), and on Tuesday, Hester made a plea for Moss, also a former Miami Hurricane.
"Anybody that can come in and help out the team, I’m down for it, and a guy like (Moss) can come in and really help out a lot," Hester said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "I’m hoping we can get him."
Moss appears to be a better fit for Mike Martz's scheme than Burress, Ochocinco or Owens. He's smaller, quicker and a better route-runner. Moss is also 32, the age when most receivers begin to think about life beyond football. That said, he's younger than Plax, Chad and TO. Another potential problem: the Redskins seem intent on keeping Moss, and he recently told Sporting News radio that he wants to re-sign quickly with Washington, and is reportedly seeking either a two- or three-year deal worth roughly $5 million per season.
The Tribune's Vaughn McClure wonders if "…some might question why Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith and crew would want to add a 5-foot-10-inch receiver to a mix that already includes the 5-11 Hester and 6-footers Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett."
Smith addressed this concern earlier this offseason: "That small stuff is overrated. You look for receivers who can catch the ball and move the chains."
And that's right. Tall wide receivers are, in general, overrated, and statistically there is no difference between one who happens to be 6-5 or one who's 5-10. It just seems that way because the Andre and Calvin Johnson's of the world are a lot more memorable when compared to the likes of, say, Malcolm Floyd and Jordy Nelson.