According to a report from Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com the Bears are one of two teams that have shown interest in free agen guard Eric Steinbach.
Steinbach was cut from the Browns after missing the 2011 season in it’s entirety due to back surgery. The 32-year-old free agent guard once was a prized free agent prospect that the Bears had on their radar.
Steinbach however signed with Cleveland after spending his first four seasons with the Bengals. Since signing with the Browns however Steinbach’s career has been less than stellar. He has consistently been among the bottom level performing guards in the league.
The next question to ask is why are the Bears contacting an under performing 32-year-old guard coming off major back surgery? The answer may lie in this report from the ESPN article:
the club ranked No. 30 in the league when it came to running the ball up the middle last season, averaging a mere 3.3 yards per carry and failing to break off a single 20-yard plus run, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The Bears appear to be fairly stacked at the offensive guard position with Edwin Williams being signed to a two year extension after starting last year in place of the injured Chris Williams. Also Lance Louis may move back to compete at the starting RG position and compete with Chris Spencer who performed admirably in the starting role throughout most of the season.
In addition to the news about the Bears kicking the tires on Steinbach the Bears also kicked the tires on guard Anthony Herrera who ultimately signed with the Packers.
The Bears appear to be targeting guard help more than they are OT help so it may be interesting to see if the Bears draft guard help and potentially move Chris Williams back to LT.
Williams performed well prior to his injury and at one time seemed like he could be a long time fixture at guard. Perhaps the Bears feel that Williams’ development at guard has been adequate enough that they may try him one last time as the potential starting LT.