The Bears Ink Former Cardinals Linebacker Sam Acho To A One-Year Deal

The Bears Ink Former Cardinals Linebacker Sam Acho To A One-Year Deal
Sam Acho #94 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on November 30, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Bears continue to reinforce their roster with veteran depth this off-season.

On Wednesday, the team announced the signing of linebacker Sam Acho to a one-year deal. He marks the 11th new addition by first-year general manager Ryan Pace and the eighth defensive player.

The 26-year-old Texas product arrives in Chicago after racking up 124 tackles, 13 sacks, seven forced fumbles and three interceptions in four seasons in Arizona.

A 2011 fourth-round pick, Acho has appeared in 51 games making 32 starts in his career.

Acho combined for 11 sacks (7 as a rookie) in his first two seasons in 26 starts at right outside linebacker.

A broken left fibula in Week 3 of the 2013 season put him on injured reserve. He’s made just six starts in 19 games over the last two seasons, adding two sacks.

However, his playoff performance in the NFC Wild Card last season was impressive. He added seven tackles, one sack and a forced fumble as a starter in the loss.

“These last three weeks of free agency have felt like three years, with many ups and downs along the way,” Acho said via his website SamAcho.com. “Now I’m ready to embark upon a new journey, a journey to the Windy City.”

Currently, the Bears have eight pure linebackers on their roster with Mason Foster, Jon Bostic, Christian Jones, Pernell McPhee, Shea McClellin leading the way.

Also, five other defensive ends Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young, David Bass and Cornelius Washington will be used as pass-rushing linebackers and have roles under Vic Fangio.

“I don’t think you can have enough good pass rushers,” Pace said last week to the Chicago media. “And I think Seattle is an example of that. So, if the right pass-rusher is there in the first-round, we’ll take that.”

At 6-foot-3, 257 pounds, Acho has a nice combination of size and speed. He was a defensive end in his time in college and has excelled as of late as a run stopper which could mean he’s versatile enough to move inside at times.

Acho joins McPhee and Foster as the third linebacker signed this off-season by the Bears. He marks the fifth player added by Pace this off-season from the 2011 draft class alongside McPhee, Foster, Jarvis Jenkins and Jacquizz Rodgers.

“To the Chicago Bears organization, know that I’m giving you my all and plan to “prove it” as this contract suggests,” Acho continued.

Considering Acho has four seasons of experience playing in a 3-4 defense he should be able to fit right in under Fangio.

Will he win a starting job? That’s anybody’s guess. Either way Acho represents another solid piece of depth added to this new-look Bears’ defense.

Special Teams Mainstay

The Bears also re-signed one of their own on Wednesday in cornerback Sherrick McManis to a one-year deal.

In five NFL seasons, McManis has 58 special teams tackles. Since being dealt to Chicago from Houston for fullback Tyler Clutts in 2012, McManis has 38 special teams tackles leads the team during that span.

He was a fifth-round pick in 2010 out of Northwestern and will serve as a core special teamer once again as well as compete for nickelback snaps.

McManis is the fourth Bear re-signed this off-season along with quarterback Jimmy Clausen, tight end Dante Rosario and cornerback Demontre Hurst.

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