Surprising to no one, the Chicago Bears have signed Ricky Manning Jr. to an offer sheet.
An aggressive hitter who possesses excellent speed and quick feet, Manning has appeared in all 48 games with 26 starts in three seasons with the Panthers.
Ricky Manning Jr. has never missed a game due to injury in three NFL seasons.
The 5-8, 185-pounder was selected by Carolina in the third round of the 2003 draft (82nd overall), 14 picks after the Bears chose linebacker Lance Briggs.
With the retirement of Jerry Azumah, Manning seemingly would be the ideal fit as a nickel back and also as an experienced veteran who could push starters Nathan Vasher and Charles Tillman.
"He's a physical player," said coach Lovie Smith. "He has good ball skills. I think he has 13 career interceptions, and that's saying a lot. He knows how to play the football.
"He's a tough guy. He has good speed and quickness. His size isn't ideal, if you try to look for something to knock him with. But Ricky's been the same size all of his (career) and played that position. He's a good football player."
The Panthers, although not expected to have 7 days to match the offer. If they don't they will receive the Bears 3rd round pick.
Update: The contract is for 21 million over 5 years.