Domenik Hixon

Bears Sign Spurlock, Edwards; Cut Hixon

2:49pm: The Bears have officially confirmed the signings of Spurlock and Edwards (Twitter link). To clear room on the roster, the club has waived linebacker Tana Patrick and terminated Hixon’s contract with an injury settlement.

2:28pm: The Bears have two of the top receivers in the game in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, but may not have a ton of reliable contributors behind that duo on the depth chart. The team parted ways with Devin Hester and Earl Bennett this offseason, and newly-acquired free agent WR Domenik Hixon tore his ACL during OTAs. Given the need for additional depth at the position, the Bears will bring aboard a pair of receivers, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), who reports that Micheal Spurlock and Armanti Edwards are signing with the club.

Spurlock, 31, has played for the Cardinals, Buccaneers, Niners, Jaguars, Chargers, Cowboys, and Lions since entering the league in 2006. The veteran wideout didn’t catch a pass during the 2013 season, but returned 22 punts and 15 kicks for Detroit. Spurlock had his most productive season as a receiver in 2012, when he split time between Jacksonville and San Diego, hauling in 23 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown for the year.

As for Edwards, the former third-round pick played quarterback at Appalachian State but has been used more frequently as a receiver and wildcat weapon when he’s seen the field in the NFL. In parts of four seasons with the Panthers and Browns, Edwards has compiled just six receptions for 131 yards.

Spurlock and Edwards both figure to compete for spots on the Bears’ regular-season roster.

Domenik Hixon Tears ACL, Career In Jeopardy

Part of the Panthers’ wide receiver exodus of 2014, Domenik Hixon inked a one-year contract with the Bears shortly after free agency opened in March, and was expected to play a role this season among a group of wideouts led by Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. However, Hixon’s season seems to have come to a premature end. The veteran receiver announced last night on Facebook that he tore his ACL during the team’s first day of OTAs.

“I tore my ACL today for the 3rd time today!” Hixon wrote. “I’m disappointed that I won’t be playing for a Bears team that has the players and coaches to WIN the Super Bowl. I thank God for letting me live my dream of playing in the NFL for 8 years plus. It has truly been FUN! ‪#‎blessed‬ ‪#‎lovethisgame‬.”

As’s Adam Schefter notes (via Twitter), Hixon figures to miss the 2014 season, and based on the receiver’s wording and his injury history, the latest ACL tear could mean the end of his playing career. The former fourth-round pick will turn just 30 in October, but after catching 39 balls for the Giants in 2012, he saw a reduced role in Carolina last season, hauling in just seven passes in 15 games.

Hixon hasn’t made an official decision on retirement yet, so it’s entirely possible he’ll work to rehab his knee and try to get healthy in time for the 2015 free agency period. However, it’ll be an uphill battle for the Akron product, who has accumulated 109 receptions in parts of six seasons for his career.

Mike Ditka Talks Bears, Free Agency

In Mike Ditka‘s regular writing for the Chicago Sun-Times entitled “Four downs with Ditka,” the former Bears head coach and Hall of Fame tight end discussed free agency, Josh McCown, dementia and concussions. Chicago has been active in free agency with Lamarr Houston as the team’s key acquisition, along with signing lower-tiered players like Domenik Hixon, M.D. Jennings, Ryan Mundy, Dante Rosario and Willie Young. Key re-signings have included cornerback Charles Tillman linebacker D.J. Williams. Defensive end Julius Peppers was released due to his high cap number and eventually ended up with the Packers, and McCown found a starting job in Tampa Bay.

On how he likes the Bears’ moves in free agency so far:

“I do like what they have done so far. They realize they have to build on their weakness and that’s what they’ve done. They’ve addressed some needs on the defensive line and in the secondary. I think they understand that if they had any defense last year, they would have had a real good shot at winning the division.”

On if the Bears should have tried harder to re-sign McCown:

“You know, he’s a backup quarterback. It’s essential you have your starter in place. I think it came down to salary. When he saw he wasn’t going to get what he wanted, he went somewhere else. I think it’s a good move for Tampa, but also a good move by the Bears.”

On if he worries about memory loss:

“If you play football long enough, chances are you’re going to get hurt. People didn’t know about concussions long ago. They didn’t understand the ramifications or the long-term effects. They really didn’t know how serious it was.”

On if concussions could ruin football:

“You know, if you’re a parent with a young son, are you going to let him play football? No, it’s probably going to be basketball, baseball or something else. But not football. Give the kid a set of golf clubs. Basically, that’s what is happening right now.”

NFC Contract Details: Hatcher, Jennings, Cards

Jason Hatcher told reporters today that the Redskins blew away the competition with their pitch and offer to him, and Tom Pelissero of USA Today brings us the specifics of Hatcher’s deal (via Twitter). The four-year, $27.5MM deal includes $10.5MM in guaranteed money, made up of a $9MM signing bonus and a $1.5MM guaranteed base salary in 2014.

Here are more details on contracts signed for players by NFC teams this week:

  • While Rashad Jennings‘ four-year deal with the Giants can apparently max out around $14MM, it only has a base value of $10MM, tweets Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
  • Matt Shaughnessy‘s two-year contract with the Cardinals includes a $1.4MM signing bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Pelissero tweets that there’s a “trigger” of sorts including in the deal, in the form of a $500K roster bonus due next March.
  • Jonathan Dwyer‘s one-year deal with the Cardinals is a minimum salary benefit contract. Wilson tweets that the base salary of $730K is non-guaranteed, while Dwyer also got a $65K signing bonus.
  • Meanwhile, another Cardinals signee, Ted Larsen, gets two years and $2.6MM, with a $470K, tweets Pelissero. The deal also features per-game roster bonuses and additional escalators, as Pelissero explains.
  • The Vikings‘ one-year pact with Derek Cox doesn’t include any guarantees, according to Pelissero (via Twitter). It features a $730K base salary, a $50K workout bonus, and $220K in potential playing time incentives, meaning it can max out at $1MM.
  • Domenik Hixon‘s one-year contract with the Bears is worth the minimum salary ($730K), but the receiver can earn up to $100K in roster bonus money, tweets Jeff Dickerson of Dickerson adds (via Twitter) that M.D. Jennings has a similar deal, though the safety’s minimum salary is $645K.
  • Ramon Humber received a minimum salary benefit deal from the Saints, with a $65K signing bonus and $300K in overall guaranteed money, tweets Wilson.

Domenik Hixon, Bears Agree To One-Year Deal

11:01am: Hixon has agreed to terms with the Bears on a one-year deal, the team announced today (Twitter link).

10:39am: Panthers free agent wide receiver Domenik Hixon is expected to sign with the Bears as soon as today, a source tells Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). Hixon is in Chicago visiting with the Bears today.

Hixon, 29, had a limited role with the Panthers last season, hauling in just seven catches for 55 yards. He had a more prominent role in years past with the Giants. In 2012 with Big Blue, Hixon caught 39 balls for 567 yards and two scores.

WR Rumors: Smith, Nicks, Edelman, Hixon

A notable wide receiver came off the board last night when Eric Decker agreed to terms with the Jets, but another one is expected to hit the open market today, as word broke this morning that the Panthers will release Steve Smith. Baltimore, Oakland, and Tampa Bay have been mentioned as potential landing spots for Smith, and Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer cautions not to rule out the Chargers or Patriots as well (Twitter link). Here are a few more wide receiver rumors to start off your Thursday:

  • As we heard this morning, the Panthers are eyeing Hakeem Nicks to potentially replace Smith, and Jason La Canfora of reports (via Twitter) that the team is currently offering a deal worth about $4.5MM per year.
  • If Smith eventually lands with Baltimore, it increases the chances that Julian Edelman will re-sign with the Patriots, according to La Canfora (via Twitter). However, the CBS scribe adds in another tweet that Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer has been attempting to recruit Edelman to Cleveland.
  • The Patriots continue to monitor the market, and will almost certainly land a receiver eventually, whether it’s Smith, Edelman, Nicks, or someone else, tweets La Canfora.
  • We heard earlier this week that the Bears were in talks with wide receiver Domenik Hixon, and now Josina Anderson of ESPN reports (via Twitter) that the free agent is on his way to Chicago to visit the team. Assuming the visit goes well, Hixon would like to sign with the Bears, Anderson adds in a second tweet.

NFC FA Rumors: Cowboys, Seahawks, Lions

We’ve passed along word of all the free agents who have already found homes – old or new – but there are plenty of players still on the market. Let’s take a look around the NFC at some of the day’s free agent rumors….

  • Now that Julius Peppers is an unrestricted free agent, the Cowboys have interest in the veteran defensive end, tweets Dianna Russini of NBC Washington. It would have to be a pretty inexpensive deal, given Dallas’ cap limitations.
  • Jeff Sullivan of (Twitter link) and Calvin Watkins of (Twitter link) both classify the Cowboys‘ interest in defensive lineman Henry Melton as strong, and Sullivan suggests there’s mutual interest. Melton will visit with the team and things could move quickly, according to the Dallas writers.
  • Free agent receiver Jacoby Jones will visit with the Giants on Wednesday, tweets Josina Anderson of ESPN. The Ravens are still discussing a potential return to Baltimore for Jones.
  • The Seahawks are in talks with defensive tackle Tony McDaniel on a new deal that would bring him back to Seattle, tweets Ian Rapoport of Rapoport also tweets that the Seahawks will meet with free agent tight end Jermichael Finley and wide receiver Taylor Price, while Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link) adds defensive tackle Jason Hatcher to that list.
  • Meanwhile, former Seahawks receiver Golden Tate is visiting with the Lions tonight, according to’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).
  • Schefter passes along word via colleague Michael Rothstein (Twitter link) that the Lions have interest in safety Chris Clemons. The Steelers were also originally mentioned as a suitor, but they’re almost certainly out of the mix now that Mike Mitchell is headed to Pittsburgh.
  • In their pursuit of a tight end, the Lions are discussing a potential visit for free agent Scott Chandler, tweets Jason La Canfora of
  • The Panthers would like to retain free agent receiver Domenik Hixon, but the Bears are also in talks with him, reports Rand Gatlin of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).