An old friend is returning to the mix of offensive linemen.
The Bears announced the signing of offensive lineman Ted Larsen, who spent the last two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, earlier this morning on Twitter. It’s reportedly just a one-year deal, but the move adds depth, experience, and a familiar face (to those in the front office at Halas Hall) to the Bears roster.
This is the type of depth signing I figured could be in the works now that the new league year is officially upon us. Because while the Bears’ starting five is set with Charles Leno Jr., James Daniels, Cody Whitehair, Kyle Long, and Bobby Massie, the team was set to lose depth along the interior of the line.
Eric Kush (who started the season as the team’s No. 1 left guard) and Bryan Witzmann (who signed on and replaced Long when he went on injured reserve) are now unrestricted free agents. The Bears needed to do something to patch up the back end of the offensive line depth chart. And rather than re-sign either of the players who picked up starting time last year, they brought back an old friend who filled that role a few years ago.
Before playing in 23 games (21 starts) for the Dolphins the last two seasons, Larsen spent the 2016 season with the Bears. Larsen, who turns 32 in June, played in all 16 games and made eight starts at right guard in place of Kyle Long. Prior to his first stint with the Bears, Larsen appeared in 86 games (57 starts) in six seasons splitting time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010-13) and Arizona Cardinals (2014-15).
Experience and familiarity tend to be valued things when it comes to building depth on a roster. Larsen has both of those things, so it makes sense the Bears brought him back after his two-year run in Miami. Welcome back, new guy!