The Chicago Bears re-signed ninth-year free agent cornerback Kelvin Hayden to a one-year contract on Tuesday. He will compete as the team’s primary backup CB and nickel back.
The Bears had intended to bring Hayden back in 2013, if the price was right, after a 16 game, two start season in which he posted 40-tackles (coaches’ review), one interception, three pass deflections and four fumble recoveries.
The four fumble grabs were tied for first in the NFL in 2012.
In his two starts at left cornerback at Minnesota and versus Green Bay, Hayden recorded 14 solo tackles. Hayden was third on the team in terms of defensive snaps among cornerbacks with 460. An added 83 special teams snaps made him a reliable contributor when called upon.
And although the Bears had wanted him back, Hayden was hoping to look for a more promising opportunity to start elsewhere (like on a team without two starting Pro Bowl corners). After finding a saturated, extremely soft CB market, Hayden and the Bears were able to find common ground.
The Bears will likely still look to add competition, youth at the position via Free Agency and the Draft. But for now, they’ve bolstered their depth.
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