Bears sign Bowman, release Williams

Bears sign Bowman, release Williams
Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Bears re-signed CB Zack Bowman to a one-year contract on Tuesday and terminated the contract of vested veteran and former first-round Draft selection Chris Williams.

Bowman, who started 16 of 46 games for the Bears from 2008-2011, and who recorded six interceptions for the Bears in 2009, was released by the Minnesota Vikings in August and has been on the open market since.

Bowman was benched in favor of Tim Jennings in 2010 after a poor showing early in the season against the Green Bay Packers. Again, against the Packers in 2011, Bowman was beaten for three touchdowns in a Week-16 loss and was not re-signed as a free agent.

Bowman spent much of his time during Minnesota’s offseason working with the third-team defense.

The end of the Chris Williams era in Chicago—which was over before it even started—makes Gabe Carimi (2011 first-round Draft selection) the only remaining first-round pick of former general manager Jerry Angelo’s tenure still on the Bears’ roster.

Williams started 38 of 50 games played for the Bears from 2008-2011. Selected to be the left tackle of the future for Chicago, Williams bounced around the offensive line after proving he couldn’t play the position at the NFL level.

Williams made 13 starts for the Bears at left guard in 2010 and ranked 69th among 82 at the position, according to Pro Football Focus. Williams then spent some time at right tackle, where he also struggled, before entering into an open competition for the Bears’ starting left tackle spot with J’Marcus Webb this offseason.

Former Steelers’ offensive tackle Jonathan Scott remains the Bears swing tackle. He appeared in 12 games for the Steelers in 2011, starting five.

The Bears also terminated the practice squad contract of DE Aston Whiteside.

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