It is another sub-radar signing in the Bears’ 2015 but is also another that underscores the magnitude of possible changes coming to one of the NFL’s worst 2014 defenses.
The Bears signed veteran cornerback Tracy Porter to a one-year contract, bringing in another tall (5-foot-11) cornerback candidate for the job opposite Kyle Fuller (5-foot-11) in a defense that could have as many as eight new starters from the lineup that finished last season.
Porter will be among a group of cornerbacks competing to fill a spot for so many years set with Charles Tillman in place. Along with Porter, the Bears have signed Alan Ball (6-foot-2) and brought back Demontre Hurst (5-foot-10), Al Louis-Jean (6-foot-1) and Sherrick McManis (6-foot-1). One of the group rates a strong chance of pushing incumbent Tim Jennings (5-foot-8), whose future has been projected to lie inside as the nickel corner.
Porter, plagued in recent seasons with injuries, was a second-round draft choice of the New Orleans Saints in 2008 while Bears GM Ryan Pace was director of pro personnel for the Saints. Porter contributed an interception of Peyton Manning to the Saints’ Super Bowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts in 2009.
After four seasons in New Orleans, Porter signed a one-year deal for 2012 with the Denver Broncos, then coached by John Fox, but he suffered a concussion and played in only five games. Porter played 2013 with the Oakland Raiders and 2014 with the Washington Redskins, but finished last season on injured reserve after three games with a shoulder injury.
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Washington signed Porter to a two-year contract worth $6 million but released the seven-year veteran earlier this offseason after he missed the start of organized team activities.