You wouldn’t have known it a mere seven days ago, but apparently Jerry Angelo cares about improving the Chicago Bears to the point he’s willing to bring in players for free agency visits. The development has Chicago Bears fans picking their collective jaws up off of the floor. Two free agents at ONE TIME came to visit Halas Hall today. Pro-Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Pace came in for a visit today along with corner back Ken Lucas from Carolina.
Even with the signing of of Kevin Shaffer last week, it would probably benefit the Bears to bring in Pace as a mentor to Chris Williams. While the Bears may firmly believe that Williams is capable of manning the LT spot for 2009, and they may in fact be counting on it. Would it be all that shocking if the Bears signed Pace as insurance to Williams and competition to Shaffer? The Bears NEED depth on the offensive line even with the signing of Shaffer and bringing in Pace to mentor Williams and possibly a newly minted and drafted RT would suit the future just fine.
While Pace is a couple years past his prime he could still be a capable starter on the right side. Pace has mid-western roots growing up in Sandusky, OH which is a scant 300-miles from Chicago making it close in proximity. We don’t know if Pace was offered a contract while in Chicago so there isn’t much more to report other than the visit.
Ken Lucas formerly of the Carolina Panthers is another veteran who would provide some depth and competition in the secondary. With Nathan Vasher’s down slide of late it would help the secondary to have a 30-year-old veteran who has excelled for a big time football team in the past. Lucas was a cap casualty in Carolina where his cap number was slated to be at $9-million-dollars this upcoming season. Lucas would have just enough left in the tank to likely help the Bears improve their pass defense. Lucas fits the mold for the type of free agents the Bears would target. A proven veteran presence that would likely be a reliable contributor at a good price.
Updated: The Chicago Tribune reports that the Bears have made a formal contract offer to Orlando Pace’s agent. Pace is seen as a priority and if signed would be the starter at LT thus moving second year man Chris Williams over to the RT position. If signed the move also would not effect the Bears’ plans to draft another OT in this year’s draft.