Bears Starting RT Not on the Roster Right Now?

ProFootballWeekly.com reports that the starting right tackle right now for Bears is probably not on the roster right now:

The Bears’ major need for help at offensive tackle became even greater on the first day of the team’s first offseason minicamp when unrestricted free agent John St. Clair, who did a respectable job as the starting left tackle last season, signed a three-year, $9 million contract with the Browns that made more than a few daily team observers roll their eyes. “Just plain stupid,” is the way one longtime team insider described the Bears’ reluctance to re-sign St. Clair, who was widely viewed as at least an adequate replacement at right tackle for the retired John Tait. A healthy Chris Williams, the team’s top pick last year, is set to take over at left tackle. “Last year they give up $18 million for Brian Urlacher, despite the injuries he had, and they couldn’t come up with $2 million more for a decent starting tackle?”

As far as possible replacements at right tackle go, the Bears began their offseason camp work with free-agent addition Frank Omiyale filling the bill. But there’s a strong feeling around Halas Hall that the Bears’ starting right tackle in ’09 will be the player they select with the 18th pick in the first round. If they were to go that route, we hear Omiyale probably would spend most of his time at left guard challenging holdover Josh Beekman for playing time. Omiyale is more comfortable playing tackle; he made his one start for the Panthers last year at left tackle. That one start, it should be noted, is the only start at the pro level courtesy of the three current OTs (Williams, Omiyale and Cody Balogh) on the Bears’ roster.

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