This will be one of the more interesting NFL offseasons in recent memory. Not only will there be roughly double the free agents as normal, but the negotiations between the NFL and NFL Players Union could save or doom the 2011 season.

In the midst of all the negotiations around the structuring of a new collective bargaining agreement, the Chicago Bears need to evaluate which of their free agents they want to keep around, and how much they’re willing to pay them. One of their free agents that will be a priority is Olin Kreutz.

“Well I don’t think you easily replace an Olin Kreutz,” Brad Biggs said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “He’s an unquestioned leader. And the fact of the matter is, they don’t have someone on the roster right now that can really play center.”

LISTEN: Brad Biggs On The Mully And Hanley Show

The offensive line showed over the course of the 2010 season that they were a young and inexperienced group. There were clearly issues communicating pass protection and assignments. Things would have been a lot worse for Jay Cutler and the rest of the offense had Kreutz, a 13-year veteran, not been in the middle of the line.

Kreutz has taken less money to stay with the Bears in the past, so the team should be able to work out a deal to keep one of the most valuable players on the roster.

“I think you could get him on a short term deal,” Biggs said. “He made probably $3.5, $4 million this past season. I would think he could possibly come down a little on that. But you also don’t want to insult the guy…He doesn’t want to go anywhere.”

NFL Draft preparations, free agency, the lockout and extending Lovie Smith’s contract are all is sure to keep general manager Jerry Angelo busy this offseason. And if the Bears want to repeat their 2010 success, they’ll need Angelo to prove that he still deserves his job.

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