The Bears have agreed to terms with veteran cornerback Kelvin Hayden on a one-year contract:
LM: #Bears have agreed to terms with CB Kelvin Hayden on one-year deal.ESPN Chicago's Michael Wright reports that Hayden will officially sign the contract on Wednesday, and that Hayden was also in talks with the Philadelphia Eagles:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 27, 2013
Bears agree to terms on 1-yr deal w/Kelvin Hayden. He was also talking w/the Eagles.
— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) March 26, 2013
Kelvin Hayden will officially sign the deal mañana.
— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) March 27, 2013
Earlier Tuesday on our Facebook page and Twitter account, we shared the information that the Bears were expected to re-sign Hayden (as first reported by the Chicago Tribune's Vaughn McClure). So, this news that Hayden has officially agreed to terms is not at all a surprise.
Hayden, who turns 30 in July, will serve as the Bears' nickel back, but is fully capable of starting on the outside if 2012 Pro Bowl cornerbacks Charles Tillman or Tim Jennings were to get hurt. Hayden hoped to land a starting job in free agency, but didn't get much interest in an extremely deep cornerback market (players like Antoine Winfield getting cut only made the cornerback market deeper).
The Bears have wanted Hayden back all along to be their nickel back and to add some nice depth at cornerback, so they were fortunate with how everything played out. There's no details on the financial numbers in this contract, but I'd imagine the Bears will end up paying Hayden a little bit less than they anticipated they'd have to coming into free agency.
In 2012, Hayden took over the nickel job from D.J. Moore midway through the season, and finished the year with 37 tackles, one interception, four fumble recoveries, and five pass deflections.
Hayden spent the first six years of his career with the Indianapolis Colts, and was a starter at cornerback for them from 2007-2010, intercepting nine passes and scoring three touchdowns over that time. In 2011, he played eight games for the Atlanta Falcons and had two interceptions.
The former Illinois college football player is a physical corner at 6'0", 195, that is solid both against the pass and the run. Additionally, he was a contributor on special teams in 2012. So, with his ability to play the nickel, replace Tillman or Jennings in the event of injury, and play special teams, the veteran really brings a lot to the table.
This marks the seventh free-agent signing (well, "agreement", anyway) Phil Emery and the Bears have made in the last seven days.
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