The Chicago Bears continued to fortify the offensive line for 2013 as the team agreed to terms on a one-year contract with former New York Jets guard Matt Slauson.
"The Jets were in contention, but they couldn't match what the Bears were offering," Slauson said. "The Jets weren't offering any long-term security."
It's expected that Slauson will fill the void at right guard created by the departure of free agent Lance Louis, who bolted to join the Miami Dolphins.
"We are excited that Matt will be a Bear," Bears general manager Phil Emery said in a statement. "He brings physical play and smarts to the offensive guard position, and to the offensive line as an overall unit. His size, strength, and power will allow him to challenge for either of the starting guard positions."
Slauson (6-5, 315 pounds) came into the NFL as a sixth-round pick in 2009 of the Jets, and has started in 48 of his last 51 games. He said leaving New York had to do with his future, not that the Jets are rebuilding.
"No, that didn't have anything to do with it," he said.
Slauson didn't give up a sack in 2012, and after becoming a full-time starter for the Jets in 2010, the club rushed for 2,374 yards that season, 1,692 yards in 2011 and 1,896 yards last season.
Although Slauson started every game in 2012, the veteran actually split time at the position with Vlad Ducasse. Jets offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo reportedly said the club's decision to play Ducasse was a directive that came from above him. But head coach Rex Ryan dismissed that notion, according to reports.
With Slauson in the fold, the Bears have added two new players along the offensive line whom they hope to meld with veterans Roberto Garza, J'Marcus Webb, Gabe Carimi and Jonathan Scott. At this point, the only starting jobs settled for the upcoming season are Garza's center position and Jermon Bushrod's left-tackle spot.