As the Chicago Bears look to rebuild their offense under new coach Marc Trestman, one obvious area of concern is depth at wide receiver. Brandon Marshall is a superstar and second-year man Alshon Jeffery shows great promise, but the pass-catching corps gets thin very quickly after those two.
Now, one of the biggest names (and loudest mouths) in NFL receiving history is expressing interest in joining Jay Cutler’s list of targets. As reported by CSN Chicago, Terrell Owens wants to get back into the NFL, and he wants to do it in a Bear uniform.
Owens’ affinity for the Bears (for whom he’s never played) stems from his past association with Trestman, who served as offensive coordinator and QB coach in San Francisco when T.O. was getting his start as a 49er. Additionally, the fact that the Bears have an obvious need at his position probably isn’t lost on a player who knows just how slim the market is for 39-year-old wideouts.
James Harrison would give the Cincinnati Bengals the NFL's best pass rush. The Bengals have already held talks with the 34-year-old former Pittsburgh Steelers star.
Those are talks are ongoing, according to NFL.com's Marc Sessler. Acquiring the free agent rush linebacker would boost an already fearsome rotation of pass-rushers.
Cincinnati's defense was just one sack shy of leading the league in quarterback takedowns in 2012. The Bengals compiled 51 sacks and trailed only the Denver Broncos and St. Louis Rams in applying pressure.
The lion's share of that pressure came from a deep and talented defensive line. Coordinator Mike Zimmer can rely on bookend edge-rushers Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap to collapse the pocket from the outside.
The pair combined for 17.5 sacks last season. Reserve ends Wallace Gilberry and Robert Geathers added a further 9.5.
Gilberry proved to be a very astute signing. He joined after being waived by the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M University
Reason: The Chiefs have done a solid job in rebuilding their team from the hiring of new head coach Andy Reid, acquiring quarterback Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers, and re-sign wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. With current left tackle Branden Albert currently on the trade block, protecting Smith's blindside becomes an immediate need.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – DT Shariff Floyd, University of Florida
Reason: The Jaguars have hired former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley as their new head coach. Based on Bradley's background and the Jaguars need for defensive line help, I believe that the Jaguars select the top defensive tackle in Floyd. Improving the interior of their defensive line should be a high priority.
3. Oakland Raiders – DT Star Lotulelei, University of Utah
The Baltimore Ravens have a tall order this time around in the NFL draft. The Ravens defense not only lost two future Hall-of-Famers, but they also lost the two defenders who lined up next to the star veterans last season. The Ravens have received credit for building successfully through the draft, and this credit was legitimized with an unexpected playoff run that ended in confetti. The team will have to live up to their reputation for drafting well to remain contenders in 2013 and beyond.
With the retirement of legendary inside linebacker Ray Lewis, the loss of inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe in free agency, and doubt following the season-ending spinal injury to inside linebacker Jameel McClain, an opposing offense lining up against the Ravens today would being staring wide-eyed at the void in the middle of the Ravens defense.
The New York Giants have Eli Manning. The Dallas Cowboys have Tony Romo (for now, at least), and even the long quarterback troubled Washington Redskins found the future of their franchise in Robert Griffin III. The NFC East should continue to be one of the more competitive divisions in the NFC with the rise of the Redskins last season coupled with the realization that the Giants won't stay down for very long as long as they continue to find talent the way that they do.