Minutes after announcing the re-signing of strong safety Craig Steltz, the Bears announced the signing of another strong safety, Danny McCray formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. McCray has been primarily a special teams player with the Cowboys. He only played 9 defensive snaps last year collecting a QB hit and an assist on a tackle, but McCray did see plenty of time on defense in 2012. He started 10 games at strong safety for the Cowboys, but struggled. McCray earned a -4.6 grade from Pro Football Focus in those starts and was benched for the final two games of the season. The Cowboys were hit hard by injuries in their secondary last year and the fact that McCray still couldn’t get on the field is a bad sign. He was originally signed out of LSU as an undrafted free agent in 2010 and has been a decent special teams player for the Cowboys with a 3.0 cumulative grade over the last four seasons.
It seems strange to me that the Bears would sign two back-up strong safeties that aren’t good enough to play on defense and I don’t think they plan on keeping both of them, so perhaps they will be competing for the same role in training camp. With both players on 1-year minimum deals, the Bears could release either without penalty once they decide who is a better fit.