Bears add to special teams by signing Lucas, Mingo

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • The Bears made two signings Sunday designed to strengthen their special teams and depth on defense, adding former Chiefs S Jordan Lucas (pictured) and ex-Texans OLB Barkevious Mingo on one-year deals, per multiple reports.

    The Bears made two signings Sunday designed to strengthen their special teams and depth on defense, adding former Chiefs S Jordan Lucas (pictured) and ex-Texans OLB Barkevious Mingo on one-year deals, per multiple reports. Associated Press

 
By Arthur Arkush
aarkush@profootballweekly.com
Updated 3/23/2020 9:15 PM

The Bears made two signings Sunday designed to strengthen their special teams and depth on defense, adding former Chiefs S Jordan Lucas and ex-Texans OLB Barkevious Mingo on one-year deals, per multiple reports.

Lucas, fresh off winning a Super Bowl under Andy Reid's Chiefs, played the majority of his snaps last season on special teams but filled in two years ago on defense with the first four starts of his career. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Lucas, a sixth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2016, has played in six combined postseason games in his first four seasons -- the same number in which the Bears have appeared in the past 14 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Mingo, selected out of LSU sixth overall in the 2013 draft by the Cleveland Browns, recorded 5 sacks as a rookie but no more than two in any of his other six seasons, including the past three with the Texans, Seahawks and Colts, respectively. But the 29-year-old who measures in at a long and lean 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds has developed into a solid special teamer, including under the tutelage of Bears special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor when he held the same post in Cleveland, and Chuck Pagano, the Bears defensive coordinator who oversaw Mingo in his final season as Colts coach in 2017.

Mingo was part of the Jadeveon Clowney blockbuster trade last offseason, going from Seattle to Houston, where he topped 300 special teams snaps for the fourth time in his career. He'll add more athleticism in the Bears OLB3 role than Aaron Lynch, in addition to providing a dependable presence on a Bears third phase that was much improved last season.

While Mingo clearly will be a defensive reserve behind star pass rushers Khalil Mack and newcomer Robert Quinn, it's possible the Bears envision Lucas in a starting role. Since Ha Ha Clinton-Dix's free-agent departure for Dallas after starting all 16 games and logging the second-most snaps on defense last season, the Bears have re-signed key reserve Deon Bush and added Lucas, who have a combined seven starts over the past two seasons but only 13 total in their respective four-year careers.

The Bears on Monday also re-signed the husband of Kate Salerno Urban, Brent, she announced on Twitter.

Defensive lineman Brent Urban, 28, appeared in nine games after signing with the Bears following his release from the Titans in October. A 2014 fourth-round pick of the Ravens, Urban is a solid run defender who quickly grasped Pagano's system and gave a short-handed Bears DL unit solid mileage in 283 snaps, including 16 tackles, two passes defensed and a tackle for loss last season. Like Richards, he also has considerable

The Bears are currently almost out of cap space and likely signed Urban to a deal including somewhere in the vicinity of the veteran's minimum, approximately $850,000. It'll likely turn out to be a wise investment because Urban is a dependable and professional run stuffer whose presence can help keep fresh the Bears' more dynamic pass rushers up front like Akiem Hicks and Roy Robertson-Harris.

Moreover, with so few draft picks next month and virtually no cap space likely remaining for a D-line splash, this could mark the third consecutive offseason in which the Bears don't make a major upgrade to that unit. That's a lot to ask of D-line coach Jay Rodgers and his linchpin Hicks, who's approaching his age-31 campaign and comes off the first serious injury of his career.

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