Danny Trevathan is nothing if not prophetic.
During the run-up to Super Bowl 50, the former Denver Broncos linebacker gave credit to Bears coach John Fox as the one who gave him a chance to play. Along with that, Trevathan allowed that he was sure he and the Bears would be talking once free agency arrived.
"I believe I can fit in any scheme," Trevathan said. "Coach Fox is one of the guys that gave me the opportunity to showcase I can fit within the scheme. I'm sure it'll be there, I'm sure we'll end up talking.”
They did, as the two sides agreed to a four-year deal on Wednesday.
The signing solves one of several needs on a still-forming defense and still leaves unresolved the situation at the other inside-linebacker spot. Coaches believe Shea McClellin is still an ascending player but the Bears did not pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract and no extension has been done. Christian Jones, Jonathan Anderson and John Timu did not solidify the other inside-linebacker spot in their starting opportunities.
The Bears are gambling that Trevathan is completely beyond issues with three different knee injuries that ultimately necessitated having his left kneecap replaced in Jan. 2015 after playing just three games in the 2014 season. Trevathan played and started 15 games in the 2015 season, followed by three postseason starts for the Broncos.
Trevathan led the Broncos with eight tackles in Super Bowl 50 in addition to two fumble recoveries. He was overrun, like most of the Broncos, by the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 48 but still led all players with 12 tackles. Trevathan led the Broncos with eight tackles in the win over New England to reach that Super Bowl, and was one of nine Broncos to break up Tom Brady passes in the 2013 AFC Championship win over New England.
[SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]
Fox and the Bears knew Trevathan but he provided their memories a booster shot in the Broncos’ Week 11 win over the Bears. Trevathan led the Broncos with eight tackles and added an interception of quarterback Jay Cutler in addition to a pass defensed in Denver’s 17-15 victory.
Trevathan languished until the sixth round of the 2012 draft, 188th overall, long after the Bears had made McClellin the 19th pick and four picks after the Bears selected cornerback Isaiah Frey.
After Trevathan played in all 16 Denver games as a backup in his rookie season, Fox made him starting weakside linebacker in 2013. Trevathan started the Broncos’ 16 regular-season and three playoff games, and led the Broncos with 125 tackles.
Trevathan needed a left-kneecap replacement after the succession of knee injuries in 2014.