No surprise, Bears will not play game of tag

There will be no suspense in the game of tag for the Chicago Bears.

You will not have to wait until Feb. 24 to find out if they have used the franchise or transition tag. It’s not going to happen the team announced on Friday.

That doesn’t come as a surprise. First, the Bears have 14 veterans scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, but only four are starters. Center Olin Kreutz, nose tackle Anthony Adams, strong-side linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa and strong safety Danieal Manning are all headed to free agency. In his prime, Kreutz could have been a potential candidate for the franchise tag, but not now as he looks for a fourth contract from the team.

General manager Jerry Angelo has been hesitant to use the franchise tag. He’s employed it only once, in 2007 on weak-side linebacker Lance Briggs.

The Bears are expected to try to re-sign some of their UFA’s and near the top of that list should be cornerback Corey Graham, who led the team with 25 solo tackles on special teams. He’s developed into one of the elite cover men in the NFL on special teams and Dave Toub will surely push for him to return. Other teams have noticed and he’ll surely draw interest on the open market.

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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