Moose finds home while Berrian, Briggs wait

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Just as he signed with the Bears on the eve of free agency three years ago, Muhsin Muhammad has returned to the Carolina Panthers with the NFLs shopping season about to return. Muhammad, who turns 35 in May, will get a two-year contract.

While it was difficult to justify his salary-cap figure of more than $3.3 million with the Bears, the organization is going to have an even harder time justifying the depth chart if general manager Jerry Angelo cannot strike in free agency. Keeping wide receiver Bernard Berrian is a top priority, and it will be interesting to see how the market unfolds for him. Most view Berrian as a very solid No. 2 receiver. But he has contract wishes that are more in line with a No. 1 receiver. also reports that as of now, the San Francisco 49ers are not one of the teams in play for linebacker Lance Briggs. The Bears have pointed a finger at the Niners and accused them of tampering, a charge that goes all the way back to October. It could be they are just waiting for the clock to strike 11:01 p.m. on Thursday to renew their interest in Briggs.

What the market for him is will also be interesting. Top linebackers have gotten major bucks the last few years, but a couple that come to mind in New Englands Adalius Thomas and Seattles Julian Peterson do something Briggs does notthey get to the quarterback. There is a premium placed on pass rushers, and thats something Briggs is not.

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