Could Vasher land back in the NFC North?

Could former Bears cornerback Nathan Vasher be back in the NFC North for the 2010 season?

Chicago released Vasher yesterday, only three years after receiving a four-year, $28 million extension from the Bears. And as our own Brad Biggs pointed out, he leaves town collecting over $18.6 million of that new money.

Not bad for a guy who was in and out of the lineup with injuries — and essentially was benched last season — since signing that deal.

The early talk is that San Diego could be a player for Vasher. Former Bears assistant and current Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera isn’t afraid to go after Chicago castoffs, defensive backs coach Steve Wilks worked with Vasher in Chicago, and the club has a need for an extra corner following the trade of Antonio Cromartie.

But, what about staying in the division? I don’t see Vasher as the type of player who is going to demand a starting job on the open market, but he could bring value as a third option — a corner who makes a living playing in a team’s sub packages on third downs.

Green Bay? Al Harris is coming off of ACL surgery, as is Will Blackmon. Does Dom Capers want another corner who has shown playmaking abilities in the past? Because that is where Vasher will bring some value. He is inconsistent and isn’t considered a solid tackler in the open field, but he has shown that he can make big plays — when healthy and playing with confidence. That will draw him some attention.

And, we can’t count out the Vikings. Cedric Griffin’s timetable for a return from a knee injury is up in the air, and although the team did re-sign CB Benny Sapp, Vasher may still be viewed as a Cover 2 corner who does have the ability to jam at the line of scrimmage and make plays by baiting quarterbacks in that scheme. He can set the edge versus any outside run in Leslie Frazier’s defense and could be a possible choice for the Vikings.

Bottom line, Vasher was considered one of the top up and coming corners in the league for a while, and although he may still have the tag of a Cover 2 system player, he will probably see some interest. He isn’t a player you sign expecting valuable playing time, but he is another corner with starting experience who can challenge for a role as the team’s third option — and help on special teams.

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