Source: Bears Unlikely To Retain Special Teams Standout

Graham Wants Shot At CB

Bears special teams ace Corey Graham is receiving interest from multiple teams, according to an NFL source.

Graham only will re-sign with the Bears if he’s granted the chance to work for a starting spot in the defensive backfield, according to the source.

The 2007 fifth round pick from New Hampshire, led the team with 25 special teams tackles (all solo stops) and is considered one of the best gunners in the NFL.  Also, he is no stranger to the defensive side of the ball, with 10 career starts to his resume.

Both head coach Lovie Smith and Graham’s agent see him as a valuable player:

“Corey Graham is a starter as I see it,” coach Smith said this offseason. “He’s one of our core players.”

“He just wants to go to a situation where he’s going to be in a place to compete,” Graham’s agent, Buddy Baker, said. “Corey doesn’t expect to be given anything.”

Former NFL safety Matt Bowen from the National Football Post had high remarks for Graham:

In my opinion, the best coverage man in the NFL. …That [letting Graham sign elsewhere] will hurt the Bears coverage units – especially on the punt team. This is where Graham makes his money as a gunner. One of the toughest jobs in pro sports speaking from my own experience playing special teams in this league. (sic) He produced 25 solo tackles in 2010 (a big number) on special teams. A lot of production to replace.

With Rashied Davis already gone (Lions), it looks like the Dave Toub’s coverage unit on special teams could be in trouble if Graham follows Davis’ lead.

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