Peep Show

Updated: February 10, 2004, 11:01 AM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | ESPN Insider
Chicago Bears: Though the club has about $11 million in cap room, don't expect GM Jerry Angelo to bring in any pricey free agent. Of course, that shouldn't be a surprise since last year they let LB Rosevelt Colvin go and their two major signings were QB Kordell Stewart and TE Desmond Clark. "I don't think it's a good thing when you get too active in the free-agent market," Angelo told the Chicago Tribune. "That's saying things aren't going as expected on your football team, and that's not the case. We like our team. I look at the free-agent market as a way to fill needs. Last year, we needed a veteran quarterback, and we did what we did. We felt we needed a tight end. That's why we went for Clark." This offseason the Bears could use a pass-catching running back for Terry Shea's offense, an offensive tackle and a defensive tackle.

Manning
Manning
Indianapolis Colts: QB Peyton Manning's contract expires March 2, but owner Jim Irsay is confident that a new deal will be worked out. "It will get done," Irsay told the Indianapolis Star. "As I've said before, Peyton isn't going anywhere. I have had a special relationship over the past six years with Peyton and his family. We've been through a lot and I'm looking forward to a lot more." Manning's agent, Tom Condon, reportedly has submitted three proposals, each rejected by the Colts. Condon is undoubtedly looking to make Manning the richest quarterback in the league, ahead of QB Donovan McNabb who signed a 12-year extension worth a reported $115 million in September of 2002, with a signing bonus that exceeded $20 million. Irsay then said: "I'm not getting into any debate on the best quarterback in the league -- (Steve) McNair, (Brett) Favre, McNabb, (Tom) Brady. I'm willing to make Peyton Manning the highest-paid player in the history of the league."

San Francisco 49ers: The team had hoped to sign free agent LB Julian Peterson, the team's top defensive player, to a long-term deal before the free-agent market opened this March, but it looks like that won't happen. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the holdup might be the sizeable demands of Peterson's agent, Kevin Poston. He is reportedly asking for guaranteed money in excess of $20 million (a signing bonus of $15 million to $18 million in the first year, and then more guaranteed money later in the deal), which is more than the 49ers are willing to pay. So it appears that Peterson will definitely be designated as their franchise player.

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