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Bears' Wright could step into starting job

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Dan Parr
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Posted June 30, 2011 @ 11:09 a.m. ET
By Dan Parr

We're hearing the Bears will only re-sign S Danieal Manning if he agrees to return at their price, and the team is not expected to offer him the deal he's seeking.

Manning turned down an extension — worth $6 million over three years, according to ESPNChicago — that the team offered last season. Assuming Manning finds a better offer on the open market and decides to take it, 2010 third-round pick Major Wright would be the Bears' choice to replace him in the starting lineup. Wright is a promising young talent, although some team observers are not convinced he will sufficiently fill the void right away.

With Manning likely to price himself out of Chicago, the Bears could consider signing a relatively low-cost veteran backup safety capable of stepping up in a pinch. Josh Bullocks played that role for Chicago the past two seasons, but he's a free agent. Wright, Chris Harris, the other starter, and Craig Steltz are the three safeties the Bears have under contract through 2011. Rookie Chris Conte, a third-round pick, will be added to the mix when he signs.

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