Injuries and retirements have changed the Bears’ outlook up front, and the team continued to address the situation by signing free agents Shelley Smith and Khaled Holmes, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune reports (on Twitter).
Chicago cut offensive linemen Donovan Williams and Dan Buchholz to make room for the veteran pair, per Campbell.
A fourth-round Colts pick in 2013, Holmes started seven games with Indianapolis last season. But the Colts cut Holmes in May after the first-round selection of Ryan Kelly. Holmes played in 17 games during his three-year stay with the team, starting nine.
The fourth-year blocker figures to compete with free agent signing Ted Larsen and former UDFA Cornelius Edison for a job with the Bears, whose center landscape changed after starter Hroniss Grasu‘s ACL tear last weekend.
Smith did not play in the NFL in 2015 despite signing for two years and $5.65MM with the Broncos last March. A former Rams and Dolphins cog who started 11 games from 2012-14, Smith did not make the Broncos out of training camp, being supplanted at left guard quickly. Denver eventually signed Evan Mathis, and Smith did not catch on elsewhere.
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