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Chicago Bears sign safety Derrick Martin to Tillman's spot on roster

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The Bears moved quickly after placing Charles Tillman on IR, bringing back a defensive back they have experience with from training camp to take Zack Bowman's place on special teams.

Ezra Shaw

With Charles Tillman headed for designated-to-return Injured Reserve, taking him out of action for the rest of the regular season, and backup Zack Bowman sliding over to his starting spot on the outside, the Chicago Bears today announced the signing of safety Derrick Martin to a one-year contract to take Tillman's place on the roster:

If the name sounds familiar, it's because the Bears originally signed Martin to the 90-man roster on August 11th, when Kelvin Hayden was lost for the season.  As Lester notes in this report, Martin is billed as a safety but has also played nickel and also has special teams experience; he was released in the first wave of roster cuts on August 25th.  Rick Campbell of the Tribune reports that the Bears also tried out cornerbacks Joselio Hanson and Myron Lewis.

Although the addition of a fifth safety to the roster rather than a like-for-like cornerback might be seen as a possible sign of competition for embattled incumbents Chris Conte and Major Wright, he's only had four starts over seven years - three fewer than Craig Steltz.  According to Patrick Finley, Martin figures to take Zack Bowman's place on special teams.

Hat tip to thatballhitdeepwayback for pointing out the comments of a section of Bears fans (warning: salty language) wondering why the Martz the Bears didn't sign Ed Reed instead.  Agree or disagree?  Share any thoughts on the signing below.

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