Chicago Bears News: Coleman Shelton adds competition at the center position

The Bears may have found their starting center.

Los Angeles Rams v New York Giants
Los Angeles Rams v New York Giants / Mike Lawrence/GettyImages

The Chicago Bears continued restructuring their offensive line on Thursday as the team added former Los Angeles Rams' center Coleman Shelton to a one-year deal.

As with the addition of tight end Gerald Everett and quarterback Brett Rypien earlier this week, the Bears are adding players who are familiar with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron's system. Shelton is no different considering he has spent his entire career with the Rams.

Coleman started all 17 games for the Rams at the center position last season. Given the experience that Coleman has at the center position, he will compete with Ryan Bates for the starting spot during Training Camp. Between the two, Coleman is the more experienced center.

Coleman Shelton is not the greatest of centers but does represent a significant upgrade for the Bears.

The center position was the most disappointing position group on the Bears' roster during the 2023 season. Between Cody Whitehair, Dan Feeney, and Lucas Patrick, the Bears were unable to find consistency at the center position given the issues with snaps and pass protection. By no means is Shelton near the top of the list in terms of best centers in the NFL but he is replacement level. That alone is an upgrade over what the Bears had at the position last season.

The addition of Shelton is confirmation that the team will not be pursuing Connor Williams in free agency. Despite the ACL injury that he suffered with the Miami Dolphins last season, Williams was believed to be the best center on the free-agent market this off-season. Williams has yet to find a new team but his next stop will not be with the Bears.

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