James Anderson was cut by the Panthers earlier this month for salary cap reasons after missing four games in 2012 with a back injury. Despite his limited play last season, Anderson registered 38 solo tackles (72 total).
He will turn 30 this season.
The 6-2, 235-pound Anderson was selected by the Panthers in the third round (88th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech.
His 94 games played are the most by a linebacker in Carolina franchise history. He set a Panthers single-game record with 20 tackles (after coaches’ review) on September 20, 2012 versus the New York Giants.
The Bears lost veteran linebacker Nick Roach in Free Agency this offseason, while failing to reach an agreement with 13-year middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, leaving them without starters at the middle and left-side linebacker positions.
General manager Phil Emery signed linebacker D.J. Williams on Saturday to serve as Urlacher’s initial replacement for 2013. Anderson will play on the strong-side, thus replacing Roach.
Anderson has eight-career sacks, 19 passes defended, five forced fumbles and 440 tackles through 94 games played (52 starts). He has 44 games at SLB, eight at WLB and one at MLB.
The Bears now continue the offseason with starters in each of the three linebacker positions, although Briggs, Williams and Anderson will each turn 33, 31 and 30, respectively, this season.
These additions certainly do not preclude the Bears from looking for youth at linebacker in the early-mid rounds of the Draft.
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