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(WSCR) It’s still unclear when free agency will actually begin, but when it does, the Chicago Bears will have to make a decision about whether or not to bring back center Olin Kreutz.
Kreutz, who has been a Bear since 1998, has struggled a little bit the last couple of seasons, but his agent, Mark Bartlestein says his client was injured and will draw plenty of interest from other teams now that he is healthy.
“(Olin’s) a great player. He’s a perennial Pro Bowler,” Bartlestein said on The Mully and Hanley Show on 670 The Score Thursday. “He played the last couple of years injured and that hurt him a little bit. He’s now healthy and there’s no question that for a player of his stature there’s going to be a lot of interest. Not just in the way that he plays, but his leadership and everything he brings into a locker room.”
LISTEN: Mark Bartlestein on The Mully Hanley Show
Despite potential interest from other teams, there’s no question Kreutz wants to stay in Chicago and his agent didn’t bother to dispute that.
“He loves being a Bear,” Bartlestein said. “He wants to play for the Bears. He’s turned down a lot of money in the past. He had a big offer from Miami his last time he went through free agency and he walked away from that to stay in Chicago.”
So what will it take for the Bears to keep Kreutz?
“I think for Olin, the big thing is to get a deal that he thinks is fair, that compensates him properly for who he is on that team and who he is as a player — which is one of the premier centers in the league,” Bartlestein said. “And if we can do that I don’t think he is interested in going out and just trying to drive a tough bargain with the Bears. He just wants a deal that is right. He’s been pretty consistent about that throuhgout his career. To me, he’s kind of the epitome of what a Bear is and he’d love for it to stay that way.
“But now, hey, it’s free agency, and it takes towo to make a deal and hopefully we’ll be able to do that and if we can then he’ll be here and if not then obviously he’ll have to look at some of the other options.”