The Bears made a move to bolster their cornerback depth today by signing free agent Kelvin Hayden to a one-year contract.
Hayden, 6'0", 195 cornerback, had two interceptions in eight games for the Atlanta Falcons in 2011. The seven-year veteran was a starting cornerback for the Indianapolis Colts from 2007-2010, and intercepted nine passes over those seasons, while deflecting 35 passes in that time as well. He's returned three interceptions for touchdowns.
Of course, he returned another pass for a touchdown in postseason play that Bears fans remember all too well- a pick-six on a Rex Grossman pass in Super Bowl XLI. Yes, he's that guy. He's also from Chicago, and played college football at the University of Illinois.
The Bears have been very interested in getting the cover-2-familiar Hayden for a few years. In fact, in 2009, he was their top free agent target, but he chose to re-sign with the Colts. He visited the Bears last season, but was just coming off neck surgery, and the Bears ultimately chose to pass on him.
But, finally, he's a Bear, and he adds depth to a position that greatly needed it after Zackary Bowman Corey Graham found new homes in free agency.
Peanut Tillman is locked into one starting cornerback spot, and Tim Jennings, who re-signed with the Bears a few weeks ago, will likely return as the starter opposite Tillman. Still, Hayden can provide competition (even if it's unrealistic that he'd get the job) for the second starting cornerback spot, and that would be a nice thing for motivational reasons after Jennings' play slipped late in 2011.
Even with this move, the Bears will surely look to add another cornerback in the draft. They greatly need to get younger at the position with Tillman being 31, Jennings turning 29 in December, Hayden turning 29 in July, and D.J. Moore unlikely to ever play more than nickel back due to his size.