Bears stay busy with signing of LB Mason Foster

Posted by Matt Clapp | 3/24/2015 06:33:00 PM | ,

In what was their third free-agent signing on Tuesday, the Chicago Bears agreed to terms with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Mason Foster on a one-year deal. Foster's agent, Steve Carric, confirmed the deal. And so did Foster basically on Twitter, before the report was even out there:
That was Foster tweeting in response to defensive end Jarvis Jenkins, whom the Bears signed earlier in the day (read more about that here).

This Foster move has been rumored since the initial days of free-agency as the Bears look for veteran depth and starting competition at inside linebacker in their new 3-4 scheme. The 26-year-old has been a starter in Tampa Bay since entering the league as a third-round pick by the Bucs in 2011.

Listed at 6'1", 241 pounds, Foster will likely be a two-down linebacker for the Bears as he struggles in pass coverage. Even with his limitations in pass coverage, Foster still managed to intercept three passes in 2013, and returned two of them for touchdowns. He also recorded two sacks in all of his first three seasons in Tampa Bay.

In the 3-4 scheme, you're in need of two starting linebackers on the inside, and the team is of course letting long-time linebacker Lance Briggs walk. The other inside linebacker options on the roster are Jon Bostic, Christian Jones, Khaseem Greene, and DeDe Lattimore. That's a lot of youth and uncertainty at the position. So, expect Foster to usually be at one of the two inside linebacker spots on first and second down, at least.

This appears to be another very cheap deal, and in that case, a very nice one given the Bears' need at inside linebacker:

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