Matt Slauson “incredibly excited” to join BearsContinue reading.
Bears sign former Jets G Matt Slauson to one-year pact
The Bears have signed former New York Jets guard Matt Slauson to a one-year contract.
The 6-5, 315-pound Slauson, 27, started the past three seasons at left guard for the Jets, who drafted him in the sixth-round out of Nebraska in 2009. Bill Callahan, the native South Sider who was the Jets’ offensive line coach in 2008-11. According to the Bears’ press release, Slauson did not allow a sack in 2012.
”We are excited that Matt will be a Bear,” Bears general manager Phil Emery said in a statement released by the team. ”He brings physical play and smarts to the offensive guard position and to the offensive line as an overall unit. His size, strength and power will allow him to challenge for either of the starting guard positions.”
With starting right guard Lance Louis signing with the Miami Dolphins this week, the Bears are unsettled at both guard positions. The Bears changed starters at left guard four times last season — from Chris Spencer (two games) to Chilo Rachal (eight games) to Spencer (one game) to Edwin Williams (two games) and rookie James Brown (three games). Only Edwin Williams and Brown are expected to return in 2013.
The Bears have many options — including the draft — but not a lot of experience at guard. The only current guard candidates with starting experience are Slauson (48 games), Edwin Williams (14), Brown (three) and tackle Gabe Carimi (three). For what it’s worth, veteran Roberto Garza, who has started the last two seasons at center, has started 140 games at guard. Nothing is off the table with a new coaching staff this season.
Slauson, a good athlete who was a state champion shot putter in high school with a 34-inch vertical leap, is known for his versatility and durability He started 15 games at right tackles, 19 games at right guard and one game at left tackle at Nebraska.
Slauson was fined $10,000 by the NFL last season for an illegal block against the Houston Texans’ Brian Cushing, who suffered a season-ending torn ACL on the play. Slauson was not penalized on the play. But the blindside ”peel back” block against a defenseless player was outlawed by the NFL last week.