Bears sign DT Nate Collins & QB Jordan Palmer


The Bears locked up a couple of their own free agents with only 2 days remaining till free agency officially starts. DT Nate Collins played well for the Bears in a 5-game stretch before tearing his ACL. He’s only 26 and has shown good quickness inside and the ability to generate pressure from the 3-technique position. He had 1 sack in his 5 games last year, but also had 2 QB hits and 5 QB hurries. Collins has been regarded highly by the coaching staff the past two seasons but just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. This gives the Bears at least one 3-technique DT on the roster and 3 DTs in total with Jeremiah Ratliff and Stephen Paea being the other two. I expect the Bears will add at least 1 more either by resigning Henry Melton, signing a replacement in free agency (Earl Mitchell, Ziggy Hood) or drafting Aaron Donald with the 14th pick overall. I think this was a good move for the Bears, it gives them a solid rotational DT and a little less desperation in negotiations with Melton or a potential free agent DT. Bill Polian, former GM of the Colts, has Collins ranked as the 5th best DT in free agency, ahead of names like Randy Starks and Linval Joseph, so that makes me feel a little better. Though Polian is getting old…

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears also re-signed backup QB Jordan Palmer today. I don’t think this has any bearing on whether the Bears bring back McCown. I think it’s more of a safety-valve signing. Palmer would be better suited as the Bears 3rd QB, but if McCown leaves then at least they have somebody on the roster who understands the offense. Trestman has raved about Palmer’s ability to pick up his complicated offense quickly, so maybe the Bears are comfortable giving Palmer a shot as the primary backup. As a fan, I know I had no faith whatsoever in McCown last year and that turned out pretty well when Cutler got hurt. So I’m basically trusting Trestman with his  QB decisions at this point. If he thinks Palmer can handle the job, then I’m on board.

Twitter: @MikeFlannery_