The Colts parted ways with veteran wide receiver Marvin Harrison after 13 seasons together, a move not many would have thought they’d ever see. Then again, nobody ever thought the 49ers would part ways with Jerry Rice, the only player Harrison trails for the NFL record in career receptions.
According to ESPN.com, Harrison was scheduled to make $9 million this year and the Colts saved $7 million by cutting ties with the former Pro Bowler.
Rumors of his release from the Colts were prevalent during the season, if not before then. Despite the years of service on his body, the 36-year-old still will be sought by several teams. One team that could use his help but will not likely be in the running is the Bears.
Harrison is a solid possession receiver with reliable hands at this point in his career and is the ideal No. 2 receiver. The Bears have Devin Hester inked in as the No. 1 whether it’s the right move or not — I happen to disagree with it — and they could use a dependable veteran like Harrison on the other side of the field.
Joining Lovie Smith’s team after playing for the mild-mannered Tony Dungy for most of his career would seem to be a smooth transition for Harrison. Despite the familiar No. 18, the same can’t be said for switching quarterbacks, though. Peyton Manning is arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all time and Kyle Orton is nowhere near the player Manning is. It’s undeniable that much of Harrison’s success was due to Manning’s pinpoint accuracy, something Orton needs to develop before he can be called a good NFL quarterback.
More than anything, it would seem a long shot for Bears GM Jerry Angelo to splurge on a 36-year-old receiver when he firmly believes in building his team through the draft. And with the Bears having so many holes to fill all over the field, Angelo will likely want to spread the money around.
One can certainly hold out hope, though.