The Chicago Bears officially announced the signing of veteran linebacker Dan Skuta to a one-year deal this afternoon.
The Jaguars released Skuta in early April after only finishing two years of a five-year $20 million dollar contract that had $8.1 million guaranteed. He was due for $4.1 million in 2017. Contract details with the Bears are not known yet.
This move reunites the 31-year-old Skuta with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, of whom Skuta enjoyed his best season under in 2014 where he had five sacks and three forced fumbles. It gives Chicago more edge insurance and experience to an already crowded linebacking group most prominently featuring the now-sophomore, Leonard Floyd. You can also expect Skuta to prominently feature on special teams as a quality contributor.
Overall in his career, Skuta has 200 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, seven sacks, and seven forced fumbles. Nothing extremely flashy as a star by any means, but a player who does his job when called upon - exactly what you need in depth if you’re Chicago.
What this move for Skuta also does is help out the inside linebacker group, as he has experience playing both on the outside and inside. That could mean a tough recovery from a patellar tendon injury for last year’s marquee free agent signing, Danny Trevathan.
The Bears are high on 2016 fourth-round draft pick, Nick Kwiatkoski, but it doesn’t hurt to have a veteran like Skuta behind him that can play in both linebacker slots.
Skuta did require offseason surgery for a groin injury after the 2015 season which partly hampered him in 2016. He was also arrested last year and charged with first-degree misdemeanor battery for allegedly pushing a woman's face into a bar window. Prosecutors later dropped all charges and declined to pursue prosecution.
Potential issues to monitor on another prove-it deal for Chicago.
With minicamp on the horizon, the Bears are setting their veteran roster into place and shaping the picture of what should be a competitive summer on the depth chart.
Robert Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for the Rock River Times and is a staff writer for Windy City Gridiron. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.