The Bears continue with the single season deals:
#Bears have signed LB Sam Acho to a one-year contract. pic.twitter.com/Li8yjxQzxG— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 1, 2015
Acho is a former 4th round pick who started 4 games, playing in 16, for the Cardinals last season. 2013 was a down year for him, as he broke his leg playing against the Saints.
Acho's rookie year performance in 2011 was rated as one of the top 10 best outside linebacker performances by Pro Football Focus. That year he notched 2 pass defenses, 3 forced fumbles, a recovery, and 7 sacks, playing as a starter in 10 of the 16 games he was in. For 2014, his PFF overall rating was -.9, so pretty average, though he was graded very highly in the run (+5.0), but that was negated by his pass rush/pass coverage ratings. PFF also has him at 2 sacks, 1 hit, 23 hurries, and 20 stops. He also contributes heavily on special teams.
Many have said the Bears have a glut at the linebacker position, with Allen, Houston, McClellin, Bostic, Jones, McPhee, Brown, Foster, Greene, Lattimore, Young, Bass, Washington and now Acho figuring at the position. However, it remains to be seen who will win those jobs outright as we get ready to approach OTAs. Whether Acho's experience in the 3-4 as an OLB will help him remains to be seen.
The one-year prove-it deal seems to be the continued tool of Ryan Pace, who has signed an interesting number of members of the 2011 draft class. (Dan Durkin writes more about it here.) It seems to suggest that while he has a focus on the draft, he has no problems finding guys who have that edge to create their big payday and let them leave it on the field.
Will there be many more additions as the Bears approach next Tuesday, the first day teams who have a new coach can start workout programs? Stay tuned and we'll talk about them.