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Bears FA Priority To Re-sign Olin Kreutz?

Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune writes that you can expect the Chicago Bears to address free agent C Olin Kreutz as soon as free agency is open for business.

The Bears understand his value and want him back badly, but are unlikely to give a 34-year old center more than they think he’s worth,” Pompei writes. “The good news is Kreutz is more valuable to the Bears than he possibly could be to any other team, so it’s unlikely another team will offer him significantly more money than the Bears.”

Pompei makes some good points here. First Kreutz is old so ensuring that they retain him for a reasonable price tag is important. Second the market for Kreutz should consist of teams with interest but who are unwilling to over pay for him. As Pompei points, this bodes well for the Bears considering that he’s familiar with the team’s offense and should get a competitive salary. The issue is that the Bears interior offensive line was a real problem last season and Kreutz bares as much of the blame as any. Chicago’s offensive line ranked dead last in rush blocking and 29th in pass blocking, per Football Outsiders, so they are not getting a top ten player at the position as much as they’re ¬†getting a team leader who happens to be familiar with Mike Martz’s offense.