Bears add former Chief Howard to D-line

New Bears DL Jaye Howard.

New Bears DL Jaye Howard.

A week after the NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears bolstered both talent and depth to the defensive line with the signing of Defensive Lineman Jaye Howard.

Howard, a former Kansas City Chief who is stout against the run and provides some push as a pass rusher, was released in April by the Chiefs in a largely salary-cap based move disguised as a failed physical. He visited Chicago on Monday but left town without agreeing to terms. A couple days later, the Bears add him to a quietly improving defense that should give defensive coordinator Vic Fangio more flexibility up front. Howard figures to be penciled in at the five-technique end position alongside Eddie Goldman and Akeem Hicks.

Howard is a 5-year NFL veteran who has played in 45 career games with 28 starts. He played the last four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs where he started 28 of 43 games. During the 2014 and 2015 seasons he made 23 starts along the defensive line and recorded 93 tackles and 6.5 sacks, 5.5 of those coming in 2015 when the Chiefs finished 11-5 and advanced to the divisional round of the AFC Playoffs. Last season Howard started four of eight games before suffering an injury. He made 23 tackles for the Chiefs last season with 1.0 sack. He had been a free agent target for the Bears two seasons ago before agreeing to return to the Chiefs.

 Howard was originally drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Florida where he helped the Gators win the BCS National Championship in 2009.

Extra Points: The Bears rookie mini-camp is scheduled for next week. The 2017 draft class and invited first-year players arrive Thursday and practice twice on Friday and Saturday before wrapping up with a single workout on Sunday.

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