Bears will sign punter Richmond McGee

The Chicago Bears will sign punter Richmond McGee to a reserve/futures contract soon, and a deal could be done sometime today.

Typically, futures contracts aren’t a big deal, but when McGee is signed he will be the only punter under contract for the 2011 season.

Veteran Brad Maynard, who turns 37 today, will become an unrestricted free agent on the first day of the new league year, and it’s unclear yet if the Bears plan on bringing him back. Maynard, who has the third-most punts in NFL history, has expressed a desire to return for an 11th season with the franchise.

Statistically, he didn’t have his finest season, and he didn’t perform well in the NFC Championship Game. But he is a consistent directional punter who fits Dave Toub’s scheme well. McGee served as a camp leg for the previous two years and if the Bears didn’t believe he had promise, he wouldn’t be coming back.

It is unlikely McGee will simply be handed a job. He’ll have to compete for it. Whether or not Maynard will be in the mix remains to be seen.

Details on Chalk Talk, an NFP Seminar at the Combine

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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