by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer (3/6/14) The Bears signed defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff to a two-year deal. He originally signed with them last November and did a decent job helping them slow down the run late in the year.
Bears sign Kelvin Hayden to one-year deal
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer (2/28/14) The Bears have signed defensive back Kelvin Hayden to a one-year deal, the team reports Friday.
Hayden, the nickel corner for the Bears, missed all of the 2013 season with a torn hamstring. In 2012, hayden had one interception and 37 tackles in 16 games. He also added five passes defensed and four fumble recoveries.
The report says that according to a league source there's a "strong" chance Hayden will return to Chicago in 2014. Hayden, the nickel corner for the Bears, missed all of the 2013 season with a torn hamstring.
Bears moving Shea McClellin to linebacker
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/20/14) The Bears are moving 2012 first-rounder Shea McClellin from defensive end to linebacker. General manager Phil Emery said McClellin will get a chance at strongside and middle linebacker.
“His athleticism allows him to pressure the quarterback,” Emery said. “We want to put him in position where he can make more plays overall.”
McClellin has 6.5 sacks in 28 games.
Bears not saying much about Julius Peppers
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/20/14) Asked if defensive end Julius Peppers had played his last game with the Bears, coach Marc Trestman replied: "Julius Peppers is under contract and he's been very important to our football team. I don't think anything more needs to be said."
Peppers is scheduled to count $18.2 million against the cap. The 34-year-old had just 7.5 sacks last season.
While the team might not release Peppers, it's clear Chicago cannot afford to retain him at his current salary.
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The Bears continue to field one of the toughest defenses around, so much so that the unit has overshadowed the special-teams game that used to produce big numbers. Last year the defense was responsible for an NFL-record nine touchdowns with a special-teams score added on. The unit also picked up 41 sacks and 21 interceptions. The run defense ranked eighth (101.7 rush yards per game and six rush touchdowns allowed all season) and the pass defense pitched in, ranking eighth (213.9 yards per game). Now, can they do it again? The team made some changes at linebacker, passing on re-signing Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach and replacing them with veterans D.J. Williams and James Anderson as well as rookies Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene. That's considered an upgrade. There are some questions about the shape of the secondary, particularly in terms of their age. On the plus side, the pass rush should remain aggressive and even though there's a new coaching staff in place, the core fundamentals of the defense aren't expected to change. Any bonus you can get from Devin Hester returning to full-time kick-return duties will help too. The Bears DST is worth one of your last four picks. (Updated 5/15/13)