Danieal Manning shows up for Bears' workouts

Offseason workout programs are voluntary, but for a player with an opportunity to compete for a starting job, voluntary becomes, well, mandatory most places.

That is the case in Chicago where defensive back Danieal Manning, a restricted free agent, showed up Monday after skipping the first three weeks of workouts, as reported by Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. Is Manning behind? Probably not. Has he hurt himself in the big picture? That’s hard to say.

Manning took the first three weeks off – perfectly fine considering they are voluntary and he isn’t under contract – because he is upset with the low level tender offer he received, one that will pay him $1.176 million this season. The Bears low tendered Manning, a second-round pick in 2006, meaning they would have received only a third-round pick in exchange if another club had signed him to an offer sheet and they declined to match the offer.

He’d like more money. Who wouldn’t? The problem is if the Bears give in to Manning’s wishes and do pay him more after tendering him as an RFA, they set a terrible precedent. It’s unlikely to happen because what would stop any RFA in the future from holding out for more money?

Quite simply, Manning holds no leverage. If he doesn’t sign his tender by June 15, the Bears can reduce his tender to 110 percent of his 2009 base pay, which was $535,000. He got an extra three weeks of vacation, but at what cost? The team had informed him he’d be in the mix for the starting strong safety job. But Manning has had difficulty holding any job down for long because he’s been consistently shifted around the secondary. He played free safety and nickel back last season. We’ll see how this one ends, but the guess is Manning isn’t happy with his pay.

Meanwhile, the Bears did get linebacker Nick Roach to sign his tender as an RFA. He’ll make $1.684 million this season.

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