The Bears announced that they have reached agreement on a two-year deal with defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff. The Bears have now signed ten of their own free-agents-to-be, more than any other club in the NFL.
While financial terms of the deal are not yet known, a source tells Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter) that the deal is not a bank-breaker. Ratliff apparently opted for his quality fit in Chicago over going through another round of recruiting elsewhere. It also helped Chicago’s case that new defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni worked with Ratliff in Dallas.
The soon-to-be 33-year-old racked up 27 sacks and 317 total tackles during his time with the Cowboys but it came to an end midway through the 2013 season while he was sidelined with injury. It turns out that Ratliff was either a good actor or a quick healer as he started auditioning for teams almost immediately and suited up the Bears in Week 13.
Ratliff, along with Nate Collins and Henry Melton, was one of three Bears defensive tackles who were eligible for free agency this offseason. Chicago reportedly has interest in a new deal with Melton and it would make sense for them to explore a new pact with Collins as well.