The Chicago Bears continued rounding out their roster, with GM Ryan Pace confirming the return of two players from the 2017 team.
Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic tweets that Pace announced the team will re-sign cornerback Marcus Cooper and long snapper Patrick Scales. These two signings aren’t like the blockbuster deals that landed Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, and Taylor Gabriel, but are more in line with adding depth and building the roster to 90 players. And outside of the Rams agreeing to terms with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, there aren’t too many premier players left on the open market.
Scales’ return comes after the Bears decided not to tender him an offer as an exclusive free agent. He was the Bears’ long snapper in 2016 and was slotted to be in that role again in 2017 before an ACL injury ended his season before it could even get started. The Bears had been reportedly scouting Oregon long snapper Tanner Carew, who is a possible late-round pick. Andrew DePaola, the team’s long snapper in 2017, was signed by the Oakland Raiders earlier in the offseason.
As for Cooper, the Bears get him back on a deal that is a fraction of the three-year deal he signed for last offseason. He was rumored to be returning over the weekend. Despite his mental gaffe, struggles, and seemingly a trip to the dog house, someone among the Bears’ decision-makers still likes Cooper enough to give him another opportunity with the team. With Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara entrenched in starting roles and Bryce Callahan sliding in as the team’s slot corner, Cooper brings size, athleticism, depth, and starting experience to the position.
After the signings, the Bears’ roster will be sitting at 63.