The Bears reached a three-year accord with former Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman, per the team’s Twitter account. Freeman becomes the second highly sought-after inside linebacker the Bears have added this offseason, joining Danny Trevathan.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Freeman’s new three-year contract with the Bears is worth $12MM, with $6MM in guaranteed money. The former Colt can earn another $2MM more in incentives.
Already a solid inside linebacker heading into the 2015 campaign, Freeman took his play to another level by significantly improving his play against the run. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked the 29-year-old as the No. 4 non-rush linebacker in the NFL, with a 97.9 grade as a run defender — that was the highest mark in that category for any linebacker in 2015.
For the season, Freeman racked up 112 total tackles to go along with three sacks, an interception, a fumble recovery, and a defensive touchdown. He’ll pair with Trevathan to form a new-look inside linebacker duo in Chicago — Shea McClellin and Christian Jones primarily handled those roles a year ago, but McClellin appears likely to depart via free agency, while Jones figures to return to a reserve role.
Freeman ranked 23rd on our list of this year’s top 50 free agents.
Luke Adams contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.