Antwaan Randle El is from right here in Chicago. Bears fans think it to be fait accompli that he will become a Bear as soon as he gets the contract offer faxed over. Not so quick:
"Right now, I don't even want to think about it, OK?" said Randle El on Sunday. "I mean, this is a special moment, and I want to [savor] it. It's a great bunch of guys and, when you think about what we've done, winning eight in a row after everyone was ready to write us off for the season [at 7-5] in early December, it means a lot. These guys are my friends. I think [management] here knows my preference. But you just don't know in this game anymore. We'll have to see how it plays out."
ESPN's great Len Pasquarelli supplies that quote from his latest column. He also points out that since the Steelers gave it up to Hines Ward, there might not be much left for Randle El. That would be good news for Bears fans. But certainly the suitors will be lining up for him, especially since he shined in the spotlight of Super Bowl XL.
Just 26, Randle El does it all. He played QB at IU and displayed his skills by zipping a tight spiral on the run for the TD pass in the Super Bowl. He can run the ball and is a great receiver. He also returned 2 punts for TDs this season. He is everything the Bears need--another fast, veteran wideout that can return kicks, which has been an area of instability in recent years. Bobby Wade suffered from some major fumblitis before getting cut this season and DB Jerry Azumah has never been the same since his recent injury and is not likely to be on the Bears this coming season.
There are some stud TEs available in the draft. The Bears could upgrade that position and their WR corps by getting Randle El. 2 more weapons to go with Muhammad, Berrian and Bradley. Of course, there are rumblings brewing about how problematic having both Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson could be. Don't be surprised to see Jones traded. His market value will never be higher and trading him could help the Bears move up in the first round. Benson would then be the man with Adrian Peterson backing him up.
By my plan the Bears would have 3 young, promising wideouts, a rookie stud TE and a 2nd year RB along with young veteran Grossman and Orton running the show.
With most of their defense signed for years to come, it looks as if the Bears may own the division like they did in the 80's.