Tommy Zbikowski is coming home.
The veteran safety from Arlington Heights and Buffalo Grove High School signed a one-year deal with the Bears on Saturday. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Zbikowski played his first four NFL seasons for the Baltimore Ravens, who drafted him in the third round in 2008.
Last season, the 27-year-old Zbikowski played for the Indianapolis Colts but was released after they signed unrestricted free agent LaRon Landry, a Pro Bowl player, to a four-year $24 million contract last week.
Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano remains a fan of the feisty Notre Dame product, who started 11 games last season for the Colts.
“There is gas left in the tank,” Pagano told reporters in Arizona at the recent NFL owners meetings. “I know Tommy’s mindset. I know what a competitor he is. All he needs is an opportunity. I know somebody will give him one and he’ll make the best of it.”
Zbikowski, who has also boxed professionally, will compete with current starters Major Wright, at strong safety, and Chris Conte at free safety.
Zbikowski has played in 64 games with 25 starts with 89 career tackles, 3 interceptions, 8 pass breakups and 2 sacks.
He will also strengthen the Bears special teams. Zbikowski has 59 career special teams tackles, 16 punt returns for 101 yards (6.3-yard average) and 20 kickoff returns for 428 yards (21.4-yard average). He appeared in eight postseason contests with 4 tackles and 5 kickoff returns for 118 yards (23.6-yard average).Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.