Tag:Roberto Garza
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:32 pm

Roberto Garza gets paid, is Matt Forte next?

Garza, who has been underpaid in recent years, finally gets his raise. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

After months of negotiating, posturing, and public PR battles, the Bears have finally paid the man. That's right, offensive lineman Roberto Garza is the proud recipient of a two-year extension worth $6.55 million ($2.6 million guaranteed) that will keep him in Chicago through 2013. (Wait, were you expecting news on another player? Perhaps the one who ran all over the Eagles' defense Monday night? More on that later.) 

The 11-year veteran has made the seamless transition to center, replacing Olin Kreutz who left during free agency for New Orleans. (Incidentally, Kreutz he left the team last month citing a lack of passion for the game.)

“I’m excited to be a part of this organization and continue my career as a Bear,” Garza said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Garza has started 86 of the last 88 regular-season games, and the Tribune calls him "the most underpaid interior offensive lineman to start in the NFL with his level of experience." His last contract came in 2006, when he signed a six-year, $12.8 million extension.

And while that's swell news for Garza -- and by extension, Jay Cutler, who has enjoyed some of the best pass protection he's seen since coming to Chicago prior to the 2009 season -- the Bears' best player continues to look for a new deal. So is Matt Forte next on the front office's to-do list?

“It’s part of the plan for the money,” general manager Jerry Angelo said last month.

A week before the 2011 regular season, the Bears reportedly offered Forte $15 million guaranteed. Five days later, contract talks were put no hold.

On Monday, before the Bears beat the Eagles, Angelo spoke again about Forte.

“Matt was the only player we targeted and we made him, in my opinion, a very lucrative offer and it wasn’t able to get done,” Angelo said on the WBBM pregame show. “Our intent is still to have Matt play the bulk of his years in Chicago and we’ll just have to wait and see.”

If talks continue to go nowhere the organization could always choose to slap Forte with the franchise tag. Angelo didn't deny that as a possibility.

“We always have a plan in place and we will continue to talk,” Angelo said. “These things are not easy to do but we’ve always got something going on. Is there something imminent? No. But we’re always planning and trying to create options.”

Matt Forte bounced back from two costly turnovers and Jay Cutler rallied the resilient Chicago Bears to a 30-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. Lovie Smith was pleased with the play of his team.

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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: November 6, 2010 4:44 pm

Week 9 injury report analysis Part II

Posted by Andy Benoit

Chargers @ Texans

Pretty much every pass catcher with a hint of talent is on the mend for San Diego. Antonio Gates is going to test his foot shortly before kickoff. Don’t expect to see ILB BrandA. Gates (US Presswire)on Siler for the Chargers. He’s still battling a foot injury and did not practice all week. (Siler’s replacement, Kevin Burnett, who is more adept in the open field and comfortable in coverage, may actually be a better fit against this Texans offense anyway. Burnett, by the way, is listed as probable with a shoulder injury.)

For Houston, when Xavier Adibi (hamstring) gets healthy, he’ll likely assume a starting job now that SLB Brian Cushing is playing DeMeco Ryans’ MLB position. Don’t expect that to be Sunday, though – Adibi did not practice all week. Neither did DT Shaun Cody (knee).
Owen Daniels (questionable) continues to combat an ornery hamstring. Andre Johnson could be dealing with his sore ankle all season. He was limited in practice but is probable.

Bears @ Bills

Coming off the bye, guard Roberto Garza is back for the Bears after missing two games following arthroscopic knee surgery. Garza at least brings veteran experience to the interior of a Chicago front five that has struggled mightily in identifying assignments against the blitz this season.

Cornerback Zack Bowman is out with a foot injury, which means Tim Jennings and Corey Graham will play major roles in stopping a Bills passing attack that is suddenly and inexplicably potent.

With the exception of LB Andra Davis (out, shoulder), the Bills are relatively healthy across the board.

Cardinals @ Vikings

All reports said that Percy Harvin looked awful testing his bum ankle in practice late this week. The Vikings are listing the second-year receiver/kick returner as questionable. The only other questionable Viking is Frank Walker (hamstring). Then there are a slew of probable key contributors, including the quarterback (foot, chin, elbow, whatever), corners Chris Cook (quad), Asher Allen (back) and Lito Sheppard (hand), LB Ben Leber (knee), DT Pat Williams (elbow) and C John Sullivan (calf).

Max Hall is no longer starting for the Cardinals, but you figure he’ll still find a way to take a nasty shot and get knocked out of this game for at least a series or two. Maybe Hall can sit next to Clark Haggans; as the veteran OLB is doubtful (and likely out) with a groin injury. Chris Wells should be good to go on his sore knee.

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Posted on: October 29, 2010 11:03 am
Edited on: October 29, 2010 11:06 am

Hot Routes 10.29.10 injured players returning

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Steven Jackson underwent finger surgery this week, but he says he is definitely going to play.

With Roberto Garza’s return to health, the Bears offensive line will once again be tweaked.

Donte’ Stallworth could return to the Ravens November 7th (as if the Ravens need another receiver). Stallworth has been out since the preseason with a foot injury.

Falcons veteran safety Erik Coleman is learning to cope as a backup.

Rex Ryan and Ray Lewis have settled any differences they may have had. They chatted at a banquet dinner on Saturday night.

Here’s one writer already making a case for John Fox to coach the Cowboys.

Here’s another saying it should be Jon Gruden.

Carson Palmer sat out practice for the Bengals on Thursday. He has a sore hip.

The sentiment around Cleveland is that the Browns need to stick with Colt McCoy at quarterback. (Oh, and that LeBron is still a jerk.)

Everyone is talking about how DE Derrick Harvey got benched in Jacksonville. Few headlines have actually mentioned who got promoted. For the record, the new starter is Jeremy Mincey.

Remember Mark Simoneau? He’s a Chief now.

With Charles Woodson and the Packers coming to town this Sunday, Rex Ryan can’t let the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year debate go.

Russ Grimm will be trying to beat his son’s team when the Bucs face the Cardinals this Sunday.

Posted on: October 13, 2010 6:09 pm

Chris Williams to replace Roberto Garza

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Bears have lost their starting LG Roberto Garza for Sunday’s game vs. the Seahawks. He might not get his job back when he returns, though.

Garza, according to ESPN Chicago, has been dealing with knee pain the past few weeks, and he’ll undergo arthroscopic knee surgery this week.

C. Williams That means LT Chris Williams, who’s returning from a hamstring injury that’s kept him out of the lineup since Week 2, will slide into Garza's position. Frank Omiyale will stay at Williams’ former spot.

"He [Williams] took snaps at a couple spots," Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice said after practice. "We didn't give him too many snaps in a row, four at the most I think, because I didn't want him to get fatigued and hurt his leg again."

Garza hasn’t played particularly well this year, so if Williams can show he’s adept at transitioning to the guard spot, the former first-round pick might take Garza’s starting spot for good. Of course, with the amount of switching the coaching staff has done with the offensive line this season, there’s no telling how this will end.

“As physical as Chris is, he’s natural inside because he’s so stout and that helps us in protections and in the running game,” offensive coordinator Mike Martz told reporters.

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Posted on: August 12, 2010 3:20 pm

Offensive line could ruin Bears

Posted by Andy Benoit

If you don’t care about the Bears offensive line…well, you should. It’s the key to Mike Martz’s system. The wide open, deep-throwing, risk-taking system frequently calls for five-and seven-step drops for the quarterback and slow developing deep routes for the wide receivers. This puts a heavy burden on the pass-blocking.

That’s why it’s big news when the Bears move longtime right guard Roberto Garza to the left side and insert untested Lance Louis into Garza’s old spot. And it’s especially big news when Martz says that right tackle Frank Omiyale is “not where he needs to be”.

He’s got that right. Where Omiyale truly “needs to be” is on the bench. But the Bears are intent on making the journeyman veteran a starter. Last season, they converted him to left guard, only to find that his lack of lower-body strength was a bigger problem inside than outside. Because Kevin Shaffer always seems to be playing in snow boots, Omiyale still projects to be the starting right tackle. But Bears fans have every reason to be concerned.

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Posted on: June 17, 2010 1:46 pm

Examining Chicago's Offensive Line

Brad Biggs of Chicagobreakingsports.com pointed out that right guard Roberto Garza is the only Bears offensive lineman currently lining up in the same starting spot as a year ago. The rest of the front five has been shuffled….for the time being.

Center Olin Kreutz is still rehabbing his way back from Achilles surgery. Josh Beekman has been filling in for Kreutz. The Bears have been trying to replace Beekman at left guard for years; ’09 undrafted free agent Johan Asiata is the latest to get a shot.

Right tackle Chris Williams has moved to the left tackle spot that Orlando Pace occupied (fruitlessly) last season. Tackle-turned-guard Frank Omiyale is apparently now a guard-turned-tackle, as he’s playing in Williams’s old spot on the right side. If Williams and Omiyale are the starters, the Bears may have the least physical offensive tackle tandem in the NFL this season.

It’s surprising that ex-Falcon/Brown Kevin Shaffer isn’t getting more of a look at right tackle. Shaffer’s slow feet can be a major problem in pass protection, but unlike Omiyale, he at least has substantial starting experience at the pro level.

Remember, the Bears are working from the Mike Martz playbook now. Martz’s scheme frequently features four-receiver sets, with all four receivers running slow-developing routes. No team will put a greater demand on pass protection in 2010 than the Chicago Bears.

--Andy Benoit

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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