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Tag:Olin Kreutz
Posted on: October 21, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 12:20 pm
 

Saints C Olin Kreutz leaves team

After 14 years, Olin Kreutz appears to be hanging it up for good. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

One of the Bears' biggest liabilities is along the offensive line, so it stood to reason that the organization would make a concerted effort during free agency to keep veteran center Olin Kreutz in Chicago. Instead, general manager Jerry Angelos gave Kreutz, a six-time Pro Bowler, a take-it-or-leave-it offer and, well, Kreutz left, signing with the Saints on August 5.

Now, two and a half months later, Kreutz is leaving the Saints.

"He decided, 'If I can't bring that same passion every day to work, I'm not gonna just sit here and collect a paycheck,'" his agent Mark Bartelstein told New Orleans Times-Picayune beat reporter Mike Triplett. "That's the way he is. Olin's a little different than most guys. People say all the time that it's not about the money. That's really how it is with him. It never has been."

Brian De La Puente, who originally signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent out of Cal prior to the 2008 season, would replace Kreutz.


The Indianapolis Colts are hoping to turn their disappointing season around as they travel to the Superdome to battle the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night. Jason Horowitz is joined by NFL.com's Pat Kirwan to break down this upcoming game. Also: don't forget to check out the Pregame: Colts-Saints edition.

In July, a week before signing with the Saints, Kreutz told the Chicago Tribune that "retirement is definitely an option." He also said that "Jerry [Angelo] has been good to me too. It felt like maybe it was time to move on. I just got that feeling. I have enough money. So the offer wasn't a big hurdle for me. It was a feel I had, just maybe they wanted to move on no matter what the offer was.

"I don't want to taint anyone. …[The Bears] treated me good and I think I've played my ass off for them. I know negotiations are never pretty. Things are said and you can't take them personal, but you do get kind of a feel for where people stand and I just didn't get the right feel for it."

And now it appears Kreutz really will retire, just two months later than the thought.

Triplett writes that the Saints have not yet commented on Kreutz's decision. Bartelstein said the team wasn't happy about it, but they understood it.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:10 pm
 

Kreutz, Bears break up for good

KreutzPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Earlier today, we told you about the difference in opinion between the Bears and longtime Chicago C Olin Kreutz about how much he was worth. The Bears had offered him a one-year, $4 million deal. Kreutz wanted $4.5 million, and if possible, a longer term than just one season.

Ultimately, with the signing of former Seahawks C Chris Spencer (which you could see right here in our free agent tracker!!!), the Bears made their decision, saying goodbye to Kreutz and possibly upsetting the chemistry of the locker room.

After the decision, GM Jerry Angelo called it “disappointing,” but he also said it wasn’t only about the half-million dollar difference.

“It goes beyond ($500,000),” Angelo said. “There’s more to it than just the dollar signs. It’s a big puzzle and you just can’t focus on one piece. It doesn’t work that way. It has to come together and we have a lot of things happening at a very fast pace. We didn’t have two months to draw things out, to be patient. We have to move now.”

There was also some speculation earlier about how the decision to send Kreutz on his way might be a rift between the coaching staff – which apparently loves Kreutz -- and the front office.

Reese, though, didn’t like hearing about that theory.

“I resent the fact that something was written that said there is a divide,” Angelo said. “Regardless of what anybody says, that’s not true. That’s a lie and it’s fabricated and I resented that when I read that. That to me was dirty pool. We talk about everything. Do we agree on everything? Absolutely not. You don’t agree on everything with your wife. How I’m going to agree with 18 coaches and 15 scouts? It doesn’t work that way.

“But at the end of the day, we’ve got to make a decision and we all agree on one thing, once we make a decision, we’re all for it. We’re going to make it work. That’s what teams do. So we talk through it. Very difficult. Things were said. We weighed them. We did the best. We had an offer. We bumped our offer. We did the very best we could. So now we’re going to just let t he chips fall where they may and we’re going to move forward.”

This might end up leading to Kreutz -- who’s been in the league for 13 years, all with the Bears, and is a six-time Pro Bowler -- possibly ending his career.

“Jerry has been good to me too. He’s given me a lot of money and I’ve been there a long time,” Kreutz told the Tribune in this story. “It felt like maybe it was time to move on. I just got that feeling. If I was right, if I was wrong, if the offer was fair. I have enough money. So the offer wasn’t a big hurdle for me. It was a feel I had, just maybe they wanted to move on no matter what the offer was.

“At this point in my career, the offer of money is not a big deal to me. It’s just a feel I had. I don’t want to taint anyone. Both sides have won since I’ve been here. I’ve won. They’ve treated me good. They’ve given me everything I’ve asked for and I think I’ve played my ass off for them.”

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: July 31, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Report: Bears, Kreutz only $500K apart

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Bears and free agent C Olin Kreutz still haven’t come to an agreement on a new contract, and apparently, the two sides are only $500,000 apart.

That’s the word from the Chicago Tribune, which writes that the Bears have offered Kreutz a one-year deal worth $4 million while Kreutz is seeking $4.5 million.

KreutzDoesn’t sound like a big difference, does it? Especially when you consider Kreutz is a long-time emotional leader on the team and word is that real damage could be done to the team’s psyche if Chicago doesn’t retain his services (not to mention that G Roberto Garza -- who has one career start at center -- might have to slide over if Kreutz doesn’t return).

The paper reports that the Bears initially offered a one-year, $3 million deal while Kreutz’s agent countered with $5 million. Chicago apparently refuses to go above the $4 million mark, and because of that, writer Brad Biggs wonders if there’s a divide between the coaching staff and the front office (the assumption here being that coach Lovie Smith would give Kreutz the extra $500,000).

One team source called the situation a “ticking time bomb,” which certainly doesn’t sound like a positive development. Particularly when, according to Biggs, there were at least six botched snaps at Saturday’s practice.

UPDATED (4:13 p.m. ET): It's been reported that the Bears have signed former Seahawks C Chris Spencer. This means Kreutz is done in Chicago.

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Posted on: July 29, 2011 8:30 pm
 

Bears sign Roy Williams, Vernon Gholston

Posted by Will Brinson

People have been wondering why the Bears didn't make a splash in free agency this year. Obviously $90 million to Julius Peppers in 2010 just isn't enough commitment.

So here's some, um, news: they've now (officially) signed both Roy Williams and Vernon Gholston.

No it's not the sexiest of offseason maneuvers, but both players do have upside. Particularly Williams -- at least if you're asking Bears' coach Lovie Smith.

"Roy Williams has number one receiver skill. Devin Hester does also," said Smith, per Zach Zaidman of the Bears Radio Network. "At least about five of the guys we have right now that I know of have that type of ability."

Williams does have No. 1 receiver ability. Otherwise he wouldn't have been a No. 1 receiver on several teams and Jerry Jones wouldn't have packaged the farm to Detroit in exchange for him. Of course, if he still was a No. 1 receiver, it's a lot less likely that he would have gotten cut by the Cowboys.

And as for Gholston, well, he's clearly got upside. After all, he was selected No. 6 overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. But start to Google his name and see what the second result is (hint: it rhymes with "rust").

But it's going to take a lot for the Bears to justify to fans that his signing was their "big move" this offseason. (Though in fairness they're still working on Olin Kreutz and they did land Nick Roach and Anthony Adams. So there's that.)

The harder sell might be that Williams is the answer to their lengthy issues at wideout, even if he has played in a Mike Martz offense before.

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Posted on: June 25, 2011 6:33 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.25.11: A farewell to Nick Charles



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • A fond farewell to Nick Charles, the first sports anchor at CNN who died today at the age of 64 from bladder cancer. Even at the end of his life, he was most inspirational. 
  • CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman has four scenarios for when the lockout might end.
  • CBSSports.com’s own Andy Benoit, writing for the NY Times, gives his top-10 list of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 22, 2011 11:31 am
 

Offseason Checkup: Chicago Bears

Posted by Andy Benoit



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups. Also, check out our checkup podcast:





Lovie Smith earned a new contract after his seemingly mediocre team ended its three-year run of mediocrity. The ending of the Bears’ season became THE story of the postseason when Jay Cutler left the NFC Championship with a strained MCL. The loss of Cutler’s strong arm confirmed what many already knew: the Bears had been paddling upstream all season against the current of their awful offensive line, ho-hum receiving corps and close-to-lethargic run game.

Credit Cutler and especially the surprisingly malleable Mike Martz for making late season adjustments that compensated for these weaknesses. Helping compensate for offensive shortcomings was the resurgence of a defense that saw MLB Brian Urlacher return from his ’09 wrist injury fresh as can be and long-time Panther Julius Peppers provide a much-needed pass-rushing presence while galvanizing the run defense.



 Every time you put on the film, Nick Roach, the athletic four-year linebacker, stands out. Roach, undrafted out of Northwestern, has been a special teamer who only starts when someone is injured. Last season, it was Pisa Tinoisamoa’s bum knee that propelled Roach to the first string. Predictably, Roach proved to be an upgrade over Tinoisamoa.

Roach's lack of size and abundance of speed make him better equipped for the weak side in a Cover 2 system. Obviously, this team’s weakside position is held down by Lance Briggs. But given Chicago’s options on the strong side, Roach is worth playing out of position.

(Not to push too much change too fast, but Briggs is actually built more like a strongside linebacker anyway. So if the Bears really wanted to mix things up – which, we know, they don’t – they could relocate their veteran Pro Bowler, too.)



1. Offensive tackle
Just because J'Marcus Webb started as a rookie doesn’t mean he’s the answer at right tackle. The lumbering seventh-round pick only started because the team’s Gatorade cooler didn’t have hands or feet and the tackling sled didn’t know all the plays. The Bears could also stand to upgrade at left tackle, though veteran Frank Omiyale survived well enough in that spot last season.

2. Interior offensive line
Center Olin Kreutz hit a wall in 2010. It wouldn’t be sensible to re-sign the 33-year-old. Left guard Chris Williams is a former first-round pick who didn’t take the field until 2009. You hate to give up on the guy this early, but watch him in pass protection and you see that you wouldn’t be giving up on much.

3. Wide receiver
Devin Hester is at worst a gadget play specialist but at best only a slot option. Johnny Knox is a zone-beater with speed to burn, but it’s hard to picture teams ever rolling their coverage to his side of the field. With Earl Bennett being almost strictly an underneath target, there’s room to insert a downfield playmaking weapon in this rotation.



Any team that hosts the NFC Championship and returns virtually all of its players the next season will have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations. But it wouldn’t be outlandish to proclaim these Bears a one-hit wonder. A little more firepower and a lot more blocking prowess are needed offensively. Defensively, the table is pretty well set, though coaches have for years been searching for a playmaker at the safety position.

Finding one may be necessary for putting this unit over the top. As things stand, this is far and away the second best team in the NFC North.

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Posted on: January 23, 2011 7:43 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2011 9:37 pm
 

What will we think of Cutler now?



Photo courtesy of Twitpic.

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The condemnation came quick and mercilessly.

@RaheemBrock (Raheem BrockSeahawks DE) “Cutler...wut a sissy! This is the NFC Championship game! Guaranteed if it was brett farve..he would still be in the game!” (and) “Cutler u little siSsy...how does it feel that ur back up's backup is the only 1that can put pts on the board!I bet cutler comes back now!”


Bears QB Jay Cutler was out of the game early in the third quarter with a knee injury, and those in the Twitter world, especially his NFL colleagues, began to brutalize him.

@Jones_Drew32 (Maurice Jones-DrewJaguars RB) “Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now... When the going gets tough........QUIT.. (and) “All I'm saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee... I played the whole season on one...”


Cutler, out with a knee injury that no one had seen him sustain and that kept him on the bench for most of the second half of the Bears 21-14 loss to the Packers, showed no heart. He has no guts. One sweet-looking woman on Twitter – she looks like she makes cookies on the weekends for her children – called him the p-word.

@DBrooks55 (Derrick Brooks – former Buccaneers LB) “BEARS fans I am so SORRY, I have to be crawling and cant get up to come off field,Josh Freeman would not come out, MEDS ARE AVAILABLE


But much of the rancor came from Cutler’s fellow players. Most of them would play on a knee injury – any kind of knee injury – if they had the chance to participate in a conference championship game. Like a certain QB from San Diego.

@DBrooks55: “Knee injury has to be VERY VERY INJURED, if you come out, Philip Rivers p[layed on torn acl now its pick,seriously JAY CUTLER”

Cutler left the field a few seconds early at the end of the first half, and he was one of the last Bears on the field to begin the second half. After one series, he was done for the day.

@kerryrhodes (Kerry RhodesCardinals safety): “Cmon cutler u have to come back. This is the NFC championship if u didn't know.”

I guess the issue now is how his teammates will view him. Is he not tough enough? Did he quit on his teammates?

@Thepresidentcb (Asante SamuelEagles CB) “If he was my teammate I would be looking at him sideways.”


Hell, would his teammates even allow him to dress in the same space as they did after the game?

@ddockett (Darnell Dockett – Cardinals DT) “If I'm on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room! #FACT”

So, let’s hear from one of Cutler’s teammates. A guy who most likely knows Cutler better than anybody else on Twitter. A guy who watched the Bears offensive line allow an NFL-high 56 sacks behind a mediocre offensive line, a guy who watched Cutler continue to rise from those sacks to take even more punishment.

“A lot of jealous people watching our game on TV when their season is over,” Bears LB Brian Urlacher said when he was told many NFL players were blasting Cutler on Twitter. “Jay was hurt. We don’t question his toughness. He’s tough as hell. He doesn’t bitch, he doesn’t complain when he gets hit.”

Will the comments from his teammates - C Olin Kreutz indicated to reporters he thought Cutler had a torn ligament and that he couldn't believe Cutler came out for the second half at all - change the public’s perception of Cutler? Probably not. If Cutler – who declined after the game to comment on those questioning his toughness – is diagnosed with a torn ACL, will people walk back their words? Doubtful. If he needs major surgery, will people apologize for their snap judgments? No chance.

The die already has been cast for Cutler. His reputation will suffer. It might follow him for the rest of his career.

People won’t forget this, no matter the reasons he couldn’t play. People still will want to burn his jersey. His career will be tainted by this. It’s unfortunate.

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Posted on: December 28, 2010 7:36 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2010 7:38 pm
 

Dissecting the Pro Bowl snubs

Posted by Andy Benoit

The NFL has announced the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters. Snubs are an inevitable part of the equation each year. Below are the key names left out, with an explanation for why.
A. Rodgers (US Presswire)

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

A simple case of too much talent at one position in the NFC. Vick, Ryan and Brees all play for teams with better records.


Chris Johnson, RB, Titans

Same story as Rodgers: MJD has been an MVP caliber contributor for the Jags, Arian Foster is the league’s leading rusher and Jamaal Charles is to the Chiefs what Johnson is to the Titans (the only difference is the Chiefs have won this year and the Titans haven’t).


Andrew Whitworth, OT, Bengals

Cincy’s left tackle was the surprise leader in fan voting at his position, but clearly players and coaches did not think as highly of the former guard/right tackle. No surprise – offensive linemen from bad teams generally don’t become first-time Pro Bowlers.


Ben Grubbs, G, Ravens

How in the world does Logan Mankins make it when he’s only played eight games? (Keep in mind, when fan voting closed last week, he had only played seven games). Mankins has been the best guard in football when he’s been on the field, but that hasn’t been often enough this season.


Olin Kreutz, C, Bears / Scott Wells, C, Packers

Kreutz has not been dynamic this season, but the man who got his Pro Bowl slot is Shaun O’Hara. O’Hara has played in just six games. SIX! And the last two weeks have indicated that the Giants are actually worse with him in the lineup New York’s rushing attack was rolling with Rich Seubert at center, but it stalled once O’Hara returned.


Kyle Williams, NT, Bills

A lot of people have been trumpeting the undersized but energetic fifth-year pro, but the harsh reality is you can’t honor any member of a Bills defense that ranks a distant 32nd against the run and 27th in total sacks. And there’s absolutely no arguing that Williams is better than Wilfork, Seymour or Ngata anyway.


Jonathan Babineaux, DT, Falcons

The defensive tackle position in the NFC was a case of a player from a high profile team (Jay Ratliff, Cowboys) getting recognized ahead of a more deserving player from a lower profile team. Babineaux has been a beast for a Falcons defense that relies heavily on big plays from its front four. Ratliff has had his worst season in three years. St. Louis’ Fred Robbins also got snubbed here.


Tamba Hali, OLB, Chiefs

LaMarr Woodley and Shaun Phillips got snubbed, too. But what are you going to do? We knew there would be this issue with the OLB position in the AFC – there are simply too many stars this year. The Pro Bowlers at this spot, Harrison, Wake and Suggs, are all deserving.


Lawrence Timmons, ILB, Steelers

Steeler coaches said he was the best linebacker on the team this season. The best linebacker in Pittsburgh rarely gets overlooked, especially when the team is a Super Bowl contender. But it’s hard to edge out Ray Lewis. And the AFC’s other ILB, Jerod Mayo, has been spectacular in New England.


Brent Grimes, CB, Falcons

DeAngelo Hall had one amazing second half earlier in the season against the Bears…and that was all it took to get him to Hawaii. Four of Hall’s six picks on the year came in that game. For the rest of the season, when he wasn’t making his two interceptions, Hall was missing tackles and giving up completions in man coverage. Grimes, on the other hand, has been a playmaker (five interceptions) AND a stopper. Heading into Week 16, opponents had completed just 47 percent of passes thrown against Grimes.


Roman Harper, SS, Saints

Harper is the key to many of Gregg Williams’ blitz packages. The NFC’s Pro Bowl strong safety, Adrian Wilson, is a big-name player but very limited cover artist.


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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com