Angelo backed into a corner with St. Clair

You would like to think the Chicago Bears wouldn’t have to essentially bend to the will of a 32-year old career back up offensive tackle. But that’s essentially where they are at with offering John St. Clair a three-year contract. They have no choice but to offer him a contract on his terms and they have to meet his demands.

Though it’s not likely St. Clair will command a lot of money on the open market, nor should he have any notion in his head that he can command a lot from the Bears in terms of money. However he can most certainly make Jerry Angelo sweat and he should because Angelo should not be in this position in the first place.

Angelo shouldn’t have let his offensive line personnel age so quickly. Having three offensive tackles over the age of 30 (Fred Miller John Tait and John St. Clair) is a recipe for disaster, and that’s exactly the recipe Angelo followed up until Chris Williams’ selection in the NFL draft last year. Now even with the addition of Williams his position is not much better. Williams had a herniated disk and spent the entire season on the bench when he should have been spent time developing his skills against some of the best pass-rushers in the league last year.

Now John Tait is set to retire leaving Angelo flailing around once again heading up to the draft. Angelo must find and develop a potential replacement for St. Clair who didn’t perform all that in the first place and only started because of Williams’ injury. However with the way the OT free agent market has shaped up Angelo must attempt to resign him even if they do draft his eventual successor. It would not be a wise idea thinking that you can successfully navigate a tough schedule with two OTs who have a combined ZERO NFL starts between them heading into 2009.

If I am St. Clair I will eventually accept the Bears’ offer, but I may make them sweat up until the day before the draft or shop the contract offer just to see what sort of guaranteed money I could get.

It’s also safe to say that St Clair’s signing is urgently needed before the draft just to get a better read on the Big Board for the Bears’ front office. Sign St Clair and WR may be the best way to go at 18, don’t sign him and the urgency the front office feels on draft day may be to much for them to Bear.


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