"This was Danieal's decision to come in and participate with his teammates," Hicks said Monday morning. "He thought it was important to get in and get acclimated to the new climate, so he made up his mind and flew back up [to the Chicago area] over the weekend. Danieal just loves playing football, and he missed being around his teammates. For Danieal, missing those first few weeks was strictly business, because the kid loves playing football."
Manning, a restricted free agent, initially stayed away from the voluntary program because he was unhappy over receiving the original-round tender, which will pay the defensive back $1.176 million in 2010. Teams had until April 15 to sign Manning to an offer sheet, but that date past without any substantial activity.
According to Hicks, Manning is not expected to immediately sign his restricted free-agent tender, opting instead to sign an injury waiver to begin participating in offseason work at Halas Hall.
Restricted free agents have until June to sign their tenders.
Any team that signs Manning to an offer sheet would have to forfeit a third-round pick if the Bears declined to match the offer. The Bears have openly discussed the idea of Manning starting at strong safety in 2010, after the defensive back lost his starting spot at free safety toward the end of last season.
The former second-round pick has started at free safety, cornerback, nickel back, strong safety and returned kickoffs at a very successful clip.
Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com.