Bears, Packers staying quiet in free agency

The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have been quiet this offseason — and that’s by design.

The Bears have signed just two players from other teams — T Frank Omiyale and S Josh Bullocks — in an attempt to get younger through the draft.

Bears coach Lovie Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times that there simply weren’t many players that were a fit for the Bears.

    “Let me ask you this: Who should we have gone after?” Smith said. “Just because you go into free agency, do you have to sign guys? I mean, we can sign guys. There are guys out there. But we don’t do it like that. We take our time and look at what we think helps us best, and we go from there.” …
    “You keep all your options open,” Smith said of adding more in the free-agent market. “But we have a draft. You have to plan on getting some players who will help you through the draft, too.”

Green Bay has signed just one player away from another team — S Anthony Smith. For the Packers, saving money also makes sense because many of their key players will become unrestricted free agents following the 2009 season, including DE/LB Aaron Kampman, WR Greg Jennings, T Chad Clifton, S Nick Collins and NT Ryan Pickett.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette analyzed the reasoning of GM Ted Thompson:

    It’s safe to say almost all of the cap room Thompson saved this year will go to contract extensions for players on his long list of 17 potential free agents in 2010.
    He’s had plenty of time to prioritize that list, so what remains is finishing some contracts.
    “We’ll do this in time,” Thompson said this week. “Not tomorrow, but over the course of the next few months, whatever, we’ll see what we can do.”
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