Thu, 09 Apr 2020

Bears add three free agents on defense

Chicago Bears
25 Mar 2020, 00:37 GMT+10

According to media reports, the Bears have bolstered their defense and special teams by agreeing to terms with three free agents from other NFL teams: outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (Texans), cornerback Artie Burns (Steelers) and safety Jordan Lucas (Chiefs).

Mingo, 29, was selected by the Browns with the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft out of LSU. He has appeared in 110 games with 38 starts the past seven seasons with the Browns (2013-15), Patriots (2016), Colts (2017), Seahawks (2018) and Texans (2019).

Mingo has recorded 220 tackles, 10 sacks, 24 tackles-for-loss, 33 quarterback hits, 14 pass breakups, five forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and one interception. He was a member of the New England team that won Super Bowl LI by rallying from a 28-3 third-quarter deficit to stun the Falcons 34-28 in overtime.

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Mingo started a career-high 14 games with the Seahawks in 2018. But the 6-5, 235-pounder played predominantly on special teams with the Texans in 2019 after being acquired in the trade that sent three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle.

Appearing in all 16 games with one start last season for Houston, Mingo played 73 snaps on defense and 318 on special teams. In a playoff loss to the Chiefs, he blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown.

Mingo played for the Browns from 2013-15 when Bears special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor served in the same capacity with Cleveland, and the veteran linebacker was with the Colts in 2017 when Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano was Indianapolis' head coach.

Burns, 24, was selected by the Steelers with the 25th pick in the first round of the 2016 draft out of Miami. He has appeared in 58 games with 32 starts over the past four seasons with Pittsburgh, recording 149 tackles, four interceptions and 27 pass breakups.

Burns was anointed the Steelers' primary nickel back seven weeks into his rookie season in 2016 and then started the final seven games at cornerback. Appearing in all 16 contests with nine starts, he registered 65 tackles, three interceptions and 13 pass breakups.

Burns started all 16 games in 2017 for the only time in his career and compiled 54 tackles, one interception and 13 pass breakups. Over the past two seasons, the 6-foot, 197-pounder has appeared in 26 games with seven starts.

Burns teamed at Miami from 2013-15 with Bears safety Deon Bush, who according to reports, recently agreed to terms on a new contract to remain with the team.

Lucas, 26, was chosen by the Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2016 draft out of Penn State. He has appeared in 49 games with four starts over the past four seasons with the Dolphins (2016-17) and Chiefs (2018-19), registering 47 tackles, one interception and three pass breakups.

Since entering the NFL, Lucas has played predominantly on special teams. Last season he appeared in 14 games, all as a reserve, with the Super Bowl-champion Chiefs.

NFL teams are prohibited from officially announcing that they have signed a free agent until 1) the parties have agreed to terms; and 2) the written contract has been sent to the player and his agent.

Due to concerns about the coronavirus, NFL teams are not allowed to meet with players at their facilities or other locations. On Monday, it was announced that no physicals will be conducted on free agents or draft prospects until the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.

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