Bears bolster D with Trevathan signing

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Trevathan brings toughness to Bears attack unit.

Trevathan brings toughness to Bears attack unit.

Searching for playmakers to aid a struggling defense, the Chicago Bears jumped into the NFL’s free agency pool and landed LB Danny Trevathan. The former Denver Bronco agreed to terms on a reported four-year contract and immediately becomes the Bears top defender.

Trevathan is regarded as a premier run stuffer  with excellent instincts and range. He’s been highly productive in Denver, leading the Broncos in tackles during their Super Bowl run in 2015-16. Though slightly undersized at a listed 6-1, Trevathan makes up for it with a blend of toughness and football smarts that will be welcome in Chicago’s navy blue and orange.

Trevathan has appeared in 50 games with 32 starts over four seasons (2012-15) with the Broncos, recording 275 tackles, three sacks, 11 tackles for losses, five interceptions, 18 pass break-ups, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Trevathan has led the Broncos in tackles, according to press box statistics, in two of the last three seasons with 109 total tackles in 2015 and 125 tackles in 2013.

His five interceptions have all come in the last three seasons, ranking tied for sixth in the NFL among linebackers during that time. His 16 pass break-ups since 2013 are tied for 11th amongst NFL linebackers.

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He was one-of-eight linebackers last season with at least 100 tackles and two interceptions and one-of-seven linebackers in 2013 with at least 120 tackles and three interceptions.

In seven postseason contests (six starts), Trevathan has compiled 46 tackles, two TFLs, two fumble recoveries (one opponent and one own team fumble) and one PBU. Both fumble recoveries came in Super Bowl 50, where Trevathan also had a team-high eight tackles.

He entered the league as a sixth-round (188th overall) NFL Draft pick in 2012 out of Kentucky.

Though the Trevathan signing earned the most buzz, the Bears plugged another hole on the other side of the ball by agreeing with former Arizona OT Bobby Massie on a deal. Listed at 6-6, 316-pounds Massie has started 46-of-54 games played over four seasons (2012-15) with Arizona after being selected by the Cardinals in the fourth round (112th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Ole Miss. All 46 starts have come at right tackle. He has also started three postseason contests at right tackle in Arizona.

Last season he started all 14 games in which he played at right tackle for Arizona, whose 4,775 gross passing yards and 4,616 net passing yards were both second in single-season franchise history. He was a part of an offensive line which a

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llowed just 27sacks in 2015, third lowest total in franchise history since sacks became an official statistic in 1982 and tied for the fourth lowest in the NFL last season. The Cardinals were second in the NFL in passing offense (288.5 yards per game) and scoring offense (30.6 points per game), eighth in rushing offense (119.8 ypg) and first in total offense (408.3 ypg) last season.

Massie’s signing raises new questions regarding the position of incumbent starter Kyle Long. Long could shift back to guard, where he won Pro Bowl honors, or move to left tackle where his athletic skills and footwork would present defensive ends issues.

Bear Tracks: The Bears activity in free agency wasn’t limited to new players. The club insured its depth by re-signing CB Tracy Porter, RB Jacquizz Rodgers, and reserve OT Nick Becton. Porter revitalized his career last season after two injury-plagued seasons. After returning from hamstring injuries early in the year, Porter appeared in 14 contests starting 13, recording 38 tackles, one interception, a team and career-high 22 pass break-ups (according to coaches reviewed statistics) and one forced fumble.

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