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Nick Kwiatkoski agrees to deal with Raiders

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The now former Bears linebacker is packing his bags for Las Vegas.

Chicago Bears v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

When someone gets their moment in the spotlight, the best thing they can do is maximize their opportunity. Now former Chicago Bear Nick Kwiatkoski is a consummate example of making the most of a shot.

On the first day of the NFL’s negotiating window for free agency, Kwiatkoski has agreed to sign a contract with the Las Vegas Raiders, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Full contract details below.

There’s a reason Kwiatkoski is jumping ship from Chicago for what is surely a lucrative deal. Whenever the Bears needed the 26-year-old, he seldom disappointed. He proved himself dependable, responsible, and even occasionally capable of an impact play or two. A 2016 fourth-round selection, Kwiatkoski was a developmental pet project turned successful starter for the Bears. After 184 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and eight quarterback hits in 57 appearances and 22 starts (most of which came in relief), it’s clear Kwiatkoski is ready for a full-time promotion. No one ever said the final product would spend the prime of his career on Lake Michigan.

Danny Trevathan’s future at Halas Hall was always going to be tied to Kwiatkoski’s. Once higher-ups decided to reward the veteran Trevathan with a new three-year deal, the writing was on the wall for his younger understudy. The door was open for a departure. All Kwiatkoski had to do was step through. He wasted no time sprinting through the crack left behind.

Not every youthful player is prepared to make a splash the moment they step onto a professional field. Kwiatkoski is walking, breathing proof of the benefit of affording patience to raw talent and nervous late bloomers. The Bears let Kwiatkoski get his seasoning in the wings. He excelled most any situation that necessitated his relief. And now they part ways for the future.

Chicago’s skyline is majestic, but Las Vegas’s lights are mesmerizing on the senses. Perhaps they’ll also be enough spotlight to showcase the next phase of Kwiatkoski’s life.

Robert is fully aware that the Bears aren’t attempting to clear a high bar with their next quarterback. He has resigned himself to this reality.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski. You can’t take a picture of this, it’s already gone.