The Chicago Bears are not waiting around for things to happen early in the 2014 NFL free-agency period. Shortly after coming to terms with former Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston on a five-year, $35 million deal, it was reported that the team has also re-signed MLB D.J. Williams to a one-year contract.
Williams was solid before sustaining a torn left pectoralis muscle tendon only about a quarter of the way into the 2013 season. This opened the door to rookie linebacker Jon Bostic finishing the rest of the season, but it was clear the first-year player wasn’t ready for the big stage, or at least the defensive line in front of him wasn’t going to let him be.
Whatever the case, with it being likely that Bostic starts at strong-side linebacker this year, the middle would have been opened up again. Thankfully, Williams being brought back will fill that need for at least next season barring another major injury. But because of the fact he got hurt for most of last year, don’t be surprised if the Bears either bring in a solid free-agent backup or address the Mike linebacker position in rounds three through five of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Financial details haven’t yet been released for the one-year deal, but considering his base salary was set at $900,000 for the 2013 campaign, don’t be surprised if it’s a very similar number, or even a bit less. That makes this move a low-risk, high-reward situation for the Bears, and a smart decision from GM Phil Emery.
This is only the second move of what should be a busy free-agency period for the Bears. To keep up to date on everything they do, be sure to follow my social media sites below, specifically on Twitter.