Jermon Bushrod CHI Mar 12 '13

Bears agreed to terms on a five-year contract with LT Jermon Bushrod, formerly of the Saints.

The Bears were on a mission to upgrade Jay Cutler's protection, and they've done so slightly. Although Bushrod is regarded as a top-tier left tackle because he's kept Drew Brees upright, he actually graded out similarly to J'Marcus Webb last season. Cutler doesn't get the ball out nearly as quickly as Brees. Still, the Bears certainly know what they're getting as offensive line coach Aaron Kromer worked with Bushrod in New Orleans. At the very least, they've added depth to a thin unit.

Jermon Bushrod CHI Mar 12 '13

The Bears are reportedly "in talks" with free agent LT Jermon Bushrod.

The offensive-line needy Bears already missed out on Phil Loadholt, Andy Levitre and Louis Vasquez. Bushrod is far from elite, but he'd certainly be an upgrade on J'Marcus Webb. Drew Brees took just 26 sacks last season.

Jermon Bushrod CHI Mar 12 '13

Free agent LT Jermon Bushrod is shooting down rumors that he's seeking "Jahri Evans money."

He better, because he won't get it. Part of a somewhat soft offensive tackle market, Bushrod is unlikely to approach the seven-year, $56.7 million contract teammate Evans received in New Orleans. Bushrod turns 29 before the season. We'd anticipate something more along the lines of $30 million across five years.

Jermon Bushrod CHI Mar 12 '13

There have reportedly been no significant talks at all between the Saints and free agent LT Jermon Bushrod.

It's a surprise that the Saints aren't doing more to retain Drew Brees' blindside protector. They haven't yet slashed the salaries of Jonathan Vilma or Will Smith, giving them little wiggle room under the cap. Bushrod will test the market, which means the Saints will be playing with fire.

Jermon Bushrod CHI Mar 11 '13

Free agent LT Jermon Bushrod is "50-50" to re-sign with the Saints.

According to SI's Peter King, Bushrod's Saints future could depend on the team agreeing to restructured deals with Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith. If it's Vilma and Smith holding the Saints back from keeping Drew Brees' blindside protector, it's a bit surprising one or both haven't been cut loose already. Bushrod is much more important to the Saints' 2013 chances. Neither Vilma nor Smith are good fits for New Orleans' new 3-4 defense.

Jermon Bushrod CHI Mar 08 '13

SI's Peter King expects the Saints to be "very aggressive" in attempting to re-sign free agent LT Jermon Bushrod before Tuesday.

If left unsigned Bushrod would hit the market on Tuesday as a top-three left tackle, behind only Jake Long and probably ahead of Sam Baker. While not an elite blindside protector, Bushrod has done just well enough to keep Drew Brees' jersey clean as a starter the past four seasons. We suspect Bushrod would gladly accept a contract worth $7 million annually, just less than Will Beatty's.

Jermon Bushrod CHI Mar 07 '13

The Saints' top priority among their own free agents remains LT Jermon Bushrod.

As of Monday, the Saints were reportedly $5.43 million over the salary cap. They've since restructured some deals and plan on redoing more, but it probably won't clear enough room to make Bushrod a top-dollar offer. He's now our No. 7 free agent tackle available in a class that's thinned out following the franchise tagging of Ryan Clady/Branden Albert and the Giants' re-signing of Will Beatty.

Jermon Bushrod CHI Mar 01 '13's Albert Breer reports the Saints have "made it clear" they want to re-sign free agent LT Jermon Bushrod, and that the sides plan to talk next week.

The Saints have sent mixed signals on Bushrod's future, but appear ready to make him a competitive offer before the start of free agency on March 12. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported last month Bushrod is not a candidate for the franchise tag. Coming off a middling season, Bushrod would further flood a crowded tackle market if he reaches free agency.

Jermon Bushrod CHI Feb 25 '13

The Saints have held no significant contract talks with free agent LT Jermon Bushrod.

Jermon Bushrod CHI Feb 22 '13

The Saints will not use their franchise tag on free agent LT Jermon Bushrod, and he is expected to hit the open market.

The Saints prefer to re-sign Bushrod, but he won't be a priority if he wants top left tackle money. It's a "buyer's market" at tackle in both free agency and the draft, and Bushrod is a replacement-level starter. He does have a connection to new Bears line coach Aaron Kromer, New Orleans' 2012 interim head coach.