2014 NFL Free Agency: Bears re-sign linebacker Williams, add safety Mundy

2014 NFL Free Agency: Bears re-sign linebacker Williams, add safety Mundy
AP

Bears general manager Phil Emery has already proven only 90 minutes into free agency that he isn’t afraid to dish out the cash to improve this struggling Bears’ defense.

After signing defensive end Lamarr Houston to a five-year deal to open the free agency period, the Bears announced the signings of middle linebacker D.J. Williams and safety Ryan Mundy.

The Bears will officially introduce Houston and Mundy in a 1:30 p.m. CT press conference Wednesday at Halas Hall.

Williams signed with the Bears last off-season to replace Brian Urlacher in the middle. The 31-year-old is back on a one-year, $1.5 million deal after playing in six games in 2013. He started four games before suffering a season-ending torn pectoral muscle injury in a Week Six win over the New York Giants.

Williams finished the season with 39 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for a loss. He is projected to be the starter in the middle next to Lance Briggs, while Jon Bostic and Shea McClellin battle it out for the starting strongside job. However, Bostic will see snaps in the middle as well.

It is a low-risk/high-reward signing as Williams showed when healthy he is still a very effective pass and run defender. His health is a big question mark however, which could help Bostic’s starting spot this training camp.

Safety Help

Mundy’s deal is for two years, $3 million with $600,000 in guaranteed money. The 29-year-old comes over from New York, where he started a career-high nine games, adding 70 tackles, an interception, a sack and a fumble recovery. Mundy inked a one-year, $780,000 deal with the Giants last off-season, so the Bears likely gave him a slight pay raise.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound West Virgina product should come in and help on special teams immediately as well as provide depth as a third safety. He spent his first five seasons with Pittsburgh, where he played on a limited basis as an in-the-box safety.

Since 2009, Mundy has 64 special teams tackles, which is tied for third most in the league over that span. He had seven special teams tackles last season.

With Chris Conte playing on a one-year deal and Major Wright a free-agent likely on his way out, the Bears should still be searching for more help in the secondary.

Other News

Cornerback Charles Tillman and quarterback Josh McCown are both free-agents, who the Bears want back, but they are both scheduled to visit with Lovie Smith’s Bucs in Tampa first in the free agency peroiod.

Another move made by the Bears on Tuesday was the signing of 29-year-old linebacker Jordan Senn to a one-year, $795,000 deal. The special teams star should replace free-agent Blake Costanzo, who was a steady presence on special teams the past two seasons.

Senn has 49 special teams tackles in 83 career games between Carolina and Indianapolis. He had six special teams tackles in 2013 in 14 games with the Panthers.

“I’ve had a lot of respect for special teams in Chicago for years,” Senn said to the Chicago Tribune. “That is really what I do.”

More news to come on the first day of the NFL free agency period. So far the Bears have added four players (Houston, Williams, Mundy and Senn).

Thoughts on the moves? What would you like to see Phil Emery and Co. do from this point forward?

 

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