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Chalk Talk

Who will be top safeties available?

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Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

I would really like to see the Bears upgrade their safety position and was wondering who are the top players available in free agency and the draft?

Brian G.
Wadsworth, Illinois

It's difficult to definitively say who will be available in free agency because many of the players whose contracts expired following the 2014 season will be re-signed or given franchise tags by their original teams before hitting the open market. With that being said, NFL.com came out with a list this week of the top 25 potential free agents and the only safety included is the Patriots' Devin McCourty at No. 9. Other starting safeties who could become free agents include the Eagles' Nate Allen, the Giants' Stevie Brown, the Dolphins' Louis Delmas, the Jets' Dawan Landry and the Giants' Antrel Rolle. In terms of the draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr is predicting in his latest mock draft that the Bears will select Alabama safety Landon Collins with the seventh pick. According to Kiper, the next best safeties in the draft are Fresno State's Derron Smith, Arizona State's Damarious Randall, Virginia's Anthony Harris and Michigan State's Kurtis Drummond.

I saw that the Baltimore Ravens had a story on their website about coach John Harbaugh talking to Bears receiver Brandon Marshall about playing for the Ravens. Isn't that blatant tampering?

Dave J.
West Virginia

According to an NFL.com report, Ravens coach John Harbaugh will not be fined by the league for his recent interaction with Brandon Marshall that was discussed on the Ravens website. Basically what happened is that Marshall recounted a story on "Inside the NFL" that he interviewed Harbaugh during Super Bowl week and asked him if he would have an issue with the receiver appearing on "Inside the NFL" during the season if he were his coach. So I guess the NFL didn't deem that tampering because Marshall was the one who broached the topic.

The first Bears game my dad took me ended up being an amazing comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the late 1970s. Do you have any details about that game? (I was only 5 and I don't remember anything except that it was cold.)

Alan H.
Deerfield, Illinois

That game you're referring to, played on Nov. 13, 1977 at Soldier Field, remains one of the greatest comeback victories in Bears history. Trailing 17-0 at halftime, the Bears came back to win 28-27 on tight end Greg Latta's 37-yard touchdown reception from Bob Avellini with just :03 remaining in the game. The winning TD came after the Chiefs had taken a 27-21 lead on Ed Podolak's 14-yard touchdown run with only :24 to play. The miraculous victory came one week after the Bears had lost to the Houston Oilers 47-0 to fall to 3-5. It was also the first of six straight wins to close the season as the Bears finished 9-5 and earned their first playoff berth in 14 years.

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