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GM: Bears' changes just 'a step' in overhaul

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 12, 2014 at 4:39 pm •  Published: March 12, 2014

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears are not done with their overhaul.

General manager Phil Emery said big issues still need to be addressed after a flurry of moves this week that included luring defensive end Lamarr Houston from the Oakland Raiders and releasing eight-time Pro Bowler Julius Peppers.

"We've got a lot of work to do on our roster," Emery said Wednesday. "I want our fans to know the work's not going to stop. We just consider these signings a step."

The Bears agreed to a five-year contract with Houston, a two-year deal with former Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants safety Ryan Mundy and one-year contracts with linebackers Jordan Senn and D.J. Williams while releasing Peppers on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they brought in former Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings on a one-year deal.

The Bears still have plenty to do, particularly on a defense that ranked among the league's worst a year ago as Chicago missed the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.

The Bears could still use help on the defensive line and in the secondary. Defensive tackle Henry Melton and cornerback Charles Tillman remain unsigned.

Backup quarterback is a question, too, with Josh McCown agreeing to a two-year contract with Tampa Bay and reuniting with former Bears coach Lovie Smith. That leaves the Bears with the re-signed Jordan Palmer behind Jay Cutler, at least for now, although Emery said they will try out potential veteran backups and might add a QB in the draft.

He also did not dismiss the possibility of going after a high profile defensive end on the market such as Jared Allen or even bringing back Peppers at a low rate, although he did not sound optimistic about that.

"We're going to look at a number of players. Obviously, Jared is one of those," Emery said.

But he also said the Bears "will wait and see" what price the market sets for players such as Allen.

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