Bears RT Tait expected to retire

February 14th, 2009 - 9:53 am

The Bears’ off-season to-do list just got a little bit longer as right tackle John Tait has informed the Bears he is strongly contemplating retirement.

As reported by the Sun-Times’ Brad Biggs and the Tribune’s Vaughn McClure, Tait is expected to retire this off-season, one year before his contract expires.

Tait’s departure means the Bears will likely need to add two or more offensive tackles to add depth and to fill his starting role.  Re-signing free agent John St. Clair, who started all last season at left tackle in place of injured rookie Chris Williams, likely transforms from a want to a need, and was part of my off-season wish list.

If St. Clair was able to hold down the fort all season on the left side of the line — considered the tougher side of the line — I’m comfortable with him replacing Tait on the right side.  And if Williams pans out as the  franchise bookend left tackle they were hoping when they drafted him, I think the Bears will be just fine at either end of the line.

Depth, however, is another concern.  Cody Balogh, a rookie last year, is the only other tackle on the roster.  Considering upgrading the guard position was — or should be — a priority as well, the Bears likely will need to acquire a minimum of three offensive linemen this off-season, two tackles and a guard.  Drafting a couple will take away picks the Bears need to use on other area of needs.

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