The Chicago Bears re-signed veteran CB Zack Bowman on Friday, bringing him back on a one-year contract. The Bears picked Bowman up in mid-October last season when they terminated the contract of offensive lineman Chris Williams.
When the team signed him in 2012 he was an in-season free agent after a short-lived offseason stint with the Minnesota Vikings left him without a job in the NFL. He came in and produced well for the Bears on special teams, recording 11 tackles, two fumble recoveries (one returned for a touchdown), two pass break ups and two defensive stops.
Bowman has appeared in 57 total games with Chicago (16 starts) over five seasons from 2008 to 2012, recording 102 tackles, seven interceptions, 13 pass break ups, five fumble recoveries (two for touchdowns), two forced fumbles and 33 special teams tackles.
Bowman was benched in favor of Tim Jennings in 2010 after a poor showing at corner 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.
The move in favor of Jennings, who was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2012, was certainly the right one. But the decision to bring Bowman back last season did prove to re-ignite the Dave Toub’s slumping special teams unit.
While the Bears are in need of depth at cornerback, Bowman’s true value will be his contributions as a ST cover-man.
The details of Bowman’s contract are as of this minute unknown, but it’s likely he signed the single year for the veteran minimum. The Bears still hope to bring back free agent CB Kelvin Hayden, who took the most snaps of any corner on the roster on defense last season (460) behind Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings.
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