Kreutz to face Bears for first time after messy split

The 13-year marriage between the Bears and Olin Kreutz disintegrated faster than Tiger and Elin after the team wouldn’t budge over a $500,000 gulf in contract demands during the offseason.

Kreutz, a six-time Pro Bowl center, wanted a one-year deal worth $4.5 million. The Bears offered one year at $4 million.

It was the Escalade-into-oak-tree moment for the partnership, which officially came to an end in August, when Kreutz took less money to sign with the Saints.

The center will play against the Bears for the first time Sunday, and while we’d love to see a fired-up Kreutz play like Jefferson in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, the veteran insists he doesn’t harbor any ill will.

“None of those guys I’m playing against made a decision on me,” Kreutz told The Times-Picayune on Thursday. “(And) to be perfectly honest and perfectly fair, they made me a fair offer to come back and I didn’t go back. There’s no hard feelings.”

Bears LB Lance Briggs expects a good fight.

“I’m sure there will be some words exchanged, you know, some good contact,” he told The Associated Press. “Maybe there will be some blows. But if there’s blows exchanged, then hopefully I am giving them and not receiving them.”

Kreutz admitted it wouldn’t be just another game.

“It’s like playing against your brother or your friend. You probably want to beat them more than you want to beat anyone else,” he said. “I’m sure seeing them in the beginning will be a little emotional. But they know how I feel about them. I know how they feel about me.

“But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try to kick each other’s ass.”

That’s more like it! Somebody get Steve Sabol on the phone. We might want to mike the trenches in this one.

— Dan Hanzus

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