`Happenings at Halas`: Black Monday for the Bears - FOX 35 News Orlando

`Happenings at Halas`: Black Monday for the Bears

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It's "Black Monday" according to the NFL calendar.

The day coaches are fired, and the day teams that didn't make the play-offs clean out their lockers.

Not a fun day for a Bears team still adjusting to the reality that unfolded just 16 hours before. "Its very tough. It's frustrating just looking back at last night. But we'll get over it eventually," Shea McClellin told us. Perhaps trying to convince himself.

This locker room will never look the same. 

Twenty-eight players head into the unknown of free agency. Obviously, Jay Cutler the most notable. Brandon Marshall, again being the voice on the "Keep Cutler" campaign, said with a shrug "when's the last time you had a Jay Cutler?"

He then went on to list each starting member of the offense along with Marc Tresman, Aaron Kromer, and Phil Emery. "The pieces are in place."

That does appear to be correct for an offense that finished the regular season in the top 10, placing 8th in total yards. A huge jump from last seasons 28th finish.

Marshall insists Cutler is best for the team. Telling us our off season headline should look more like "Thank God we have Jay Cutler."

Center Roberto Garza said as he was packing up his locker, "It's the first time I've been in this position since I've been here. We'll see what happens."

But it's business. So we wait.

There are bigger questions surrounding the defense. Such as the nine starters entering free agency.

Notable names like Tim Jennings, Henry Melton, Charles Tillman, Major Wright, James Anderson, Corey Wootton. Have they played their last games?

Peanut Tillman quickly said he can't imagine not being a Bear. "Chicago has been great, Chicago is great. Great owners, great fans. To be here 11 years, it's been an honor."

Peanut said retirement hasn't even been a thought and he expects to play somewhere next season. But he has no idea where that may be. "It's the first time in my life that I've had to make decisions like this. I don't know. We'll see how it plays out."

Peanut and the other player we spoke with did make it clear the Bears have not begun contract talks with anyone. Meaning they all left Halas Hall today wondering what's next.

"I have no clue," Major Wright said. " I tried to go out there this year and give it my all. I hope something happens for me." DJ Williams, injured much of the year, was quick to praise the organization. " I like the team chemistry, I like the coaches, I love the city, the energy of the city. I'd like to be back here."

The days and weeks ahead will all decide that. No press conference scheduled at this time for the GM and head coach. That expected to happen shortly after we celebrate 2014. A fresh start for everyone, including the Bears.

Notes: Henry Melton did appear in the locker room today, clearing things out. But did not talk. It's the first time we've seen Melton since his arrest in Texas just before Christmas. We will be monitoring his status.

Martellus Bennett spent about three minutes thanking the media. All of us. Then added he's not in the football business he's in the entertainment business so we should call him during the off season for appearances or the like. Added he makes good TV. We know this. I'm guessing someone takes him up on it.

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