St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy (30) scores on a 1-yard run as Chicago Bears safety Chris Conte, top right, and cornerback Zack Bowman (38) defend during the first quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)
The Chicago Bears have said they intend for the competition for playing time at safety to be open going into training camp in July, and they backed up that statement on Monday, as they brought back safety Derrick Martin on a one-year contract.
The team also announced it had re-signed center Taylor Boggs, who only played one game for the Bears during the 2013 season. He played two seasons with the New York Jets prior to coming to Chicago.
Bears offensive guard Kyle Long congratulated Boggs on the new contract:
Congrats to my guy Taylor Boggs for resigning.... This guy never complains and is so helpful to a clueless guy like myself.
— Kyle Long (@Ky1eLong) February 24, 2014
As for Martin, he will be looking at getting some playing time with Chris Conte not assured of a roster spot and Major Wright potentially leaving the team as a free agent. In eight NFL seasons, Martin has appeared in 73 games with five different teams, including seven games for the Bears last season. In his career, he has 66 special teams tackles, 38 defensive stops, three interceptions, eight pass break-ups, a sack, and a fumble recovery, per a press release by the team.
Safety is a position that the Bears could potentially address with the 14th overall pick in May’s NFL Draft. Most of the speculation has been that they will go defensive line, with players like Timmy Jernigan and Louis Nix III getting the bulk of the attention, but players like Alabama’s Ha-Ha Clinton Dix have also been linked to the Bears as experts try to figure out what Phil Emery’s line of thinking will be as the draft looms.