Unless something major changes between now and 3pm, the Bears will be on the verge of losing wide out Bernard Berrian. Today’s Chicago Sun Times is reporting that the Bears are NOT expected to place the franchise tag on Berrain, meaning that he will be free to go the free agent route and sign with who he pleases starting next Friday. There had been talk that the Bears would franchise Berrian, keeping him around for at least another season unless a team wanted to give up two first-round draft picks.
The Bears had been hopeful that before free agency kicks off next week that they would be able to come to terms with their bigger free agents – Berrian, LB Lance Briggs, and special team standout Brendon Ayanbandejo. Berrain appears to be the toughest challenge, as he and the other two big Bears free agents are represented by tough guy agent Drew Rosenhaus, who will want his client Berrain to get top dollar as the top wide out on the market (don’t expect Randy Moss to go anywhere).
Last season the Bears put the franchise on Briggs, but with the price for Berrain if he’s franchised sitting at $7.848 million, the team wants to stay away from paying him that high of a salary unless they can get him to sign long term. Last season Berrain pulled in 71 passes for 951 yards and five TD’s. There was talk that the Jets and Raiders were two teams that would have high interest in Berrian should he hit the open market.