Bears sign former Jags CB Ball

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Bears Soldier Field photo
Continuing to shore up personnel deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball, the Chicago Bears inked veteran CB Alan Ball to a one-year deal. Ball, a University of Illinois product, adds depth to a depleted CB unit.

Ball isn’t a long-term option, but the eight-year pro gives the Bears some stability and experience at an important position.  He made 22 tackles along with one interception and three pass plays defender before injuring a biceps  and missing the final half of the year.

Tim Jennings is the Bears only returning starter at the corner spot, and he returns following an uneven 2014 and after a DUI arrest in Georgia during the offseason. Second-year man Al Louis-Jean is unproven, and the team apparently has elected not to bring back long-time starter Charles Tillman.

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Here’s more on Ball from the Bears official announcement of the move:

The 6-2, 197-pound University of Illinois product has appeared in 93 games with 44 starts over eight seasons with Dallas (2007-11), Houston (2012) and Jacksonville (2013-14), collecting 178 tackles, six interceptions, 34 pass break-ups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. The Detroit, Mich. native has added 38 special teams tackles during his NFL career.

In 2014, Ball began the year as a starter before succumbing to an injury..

Extra Points: The Bears, like their fellow NFL counterparts, are making greater use of one-year deals in free agency. With the wealth of veteran players on the market, teams are asking for a “prove it” component when agreeing to terms with players, forcing the player to contribute immediately in order to be in line for a contract extension.