Are the Bears ready to sign wide receiver Torry Holt?

February 17, 2010

By S.C. Zuba
Sports Columnist

Think back to last April, just a few days after the Bears made the trade of the century for their franchise quarterback, Jay Cutler.

Shortly after that trade, there was one thing on the mind of Bears’ fans. And that thing was Torry Holt. Holt was a free agent and had voiced he believed he could fit into what the Bears and Cutler were doing in Chicago. The Bears, however, didn’t see things the way Holt did, and opted to stick with their inexperienced receiving corps.

Three weeks after the Bears acquired Cutler, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Holt to a three-year, $20 million deal. And that was the end of that pipe dream.

Or was it?

Shortly after the Super Bowl, the Jags cut ties with an aging Holt, who caught 51 passes for 722 yards in 2009. Holt will turn 34 during the 2010 season, so his skills may not be what they used to be, but he certainly could offer veteran leadership to this group of young receivers.

While in St. Louis, Holt played under offensive coordinator Mike Martz and was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection while posting eight straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

Devin Hester, Devin Aromashodu and Earl Bennett could sure learn a thing or two from a receiver of this caliber. Oh, and I bet Cutler wouldn’t mind throwing the football around with him.

While on ESPN Radio, Holt had the following sentiments in regard to playing in Chicago under Martz’s system:

“Absolutely, I would consider coming to Chicago because of coach Martz. I have kept in contact with him over the course of the years. That’s my guy. I’ve got a lot of history with coach Martz, a lot of great years there obviously in St. Louis. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a man and as a coach. Most importantly, what I respect the most is his mind. I respect his passion for the game of football. I respect the standards he sets every day.”

Holt added, “I think I could fit in really well with that ballclub and add a really good veteran presence.”

This move almost makes too much sense for the Bears to do it. What are the risks? Even if Holt has a subpar season, his leadership and energy will do wonders for the Bears receivers and the locker room.

Holt is ready. The fans are surely ready. The question is, are the Bears ready?

Share your thoughts with S.C. Zuba via e-mail at samuelczuba@yahoo.com.

From the Feb 17-23, 2010 issue

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