Bears not ruling out a run at Alan Faneca

From the sounds of things, the Chicago Bears are at least going to kick around the idea of Alan Faneca.

Whether their internal discussions lead anywhere remains to be seen, but general manager Jerry Angelo didn’t rule out the idea of making a play for the nine-time Pro Bowl left guard. The Bears were expected to look at offensive linemen in the draft but they didn’t get around to doing that until the seventh round when they selected J’Marcus Webb, a tackle from West Texas A&M.

In nine drafts, Angelo has drafted only 11 offensive linemen. Six of them have come in the seventh round and the bad news for Webb is that, to date, none of them have panned out. The Bears have largely built their line through free agency under Angelo, and that’s why it will not be a surprise if they at least explore Faneca, who was released Sunday by the New York Jets.

“Don’t know that,” Angelo said. “Who would not consider Alan Faneca if you had a need at the offensive line? We’ll look into some things like we did before the draft.”

The Bears considered trading with Seattle to acquire veteran guard Rob Sims before he was dealt to Detroit. They failed on a waiver claim for another guard, Trevor Canfield, although he was probably viewed more as a camp body. Frank Omiyale, who started 12 games at left guard last season, has been moved to tackle. He’s expected to compete with veteran Kevin Shaffer for the gig at right tackle. That leaves Josh Beekman, who has 20 career starts, as the man at left guard right now. The Bears have been comfortable using him although some view him as a little undersized and a potential future replacement for Olin Kreutz at center.

“We’ll continue to look,” Angelo said. “We do like the players that we have there. I think (offensive line) coach (Mike) Tice has said that, if he’s not said it publicly, he certainly has told him in our meetings that he is comfortable with our line. But again, we’ll continue to look.”

What the Bears are looking at, no doubt, is how much gas the 33-year-old Faneca has left in the tank. The Bears hit a home run when they signed a veteran guard off the scrap heap in 2004. Ruben Brown went to a Pro Bowl for them. They didn’t do as well last year with tackle Orlando Pace.

Stay tuned.

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