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Bears sign Brian de la Puente

De la Puente

The Bears have returned to stealth mode for another free-agent signing.

On Sunday after, the Bears announced out of the blue that former Saints center Brian de la Puente has agreed to terms on a one-year deal.

De la Puente, who supplanted former Bears center Olin Kreutz in New Orleans, started 44 of 48 regular-season games from 2011 through 2013. He also started all four Saints postseason games in the last three years.

As explained by Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, de la Puente is expected to back up Roberto Garza in Chicago. As pointed out by Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the move reunites de la Puente with former Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, who’s now the offensive coordinator in Chicago.

For the Saints, Tim Lelito becomes the starting center, for now. Undrafted in 2013, Lelito appeared in 16 games with two starts last season.