The Bears announced on Wednesday that they’ve re-signed five of their exclusive rights free agents: Alex Bars, J.P. Holtz, Ryan Nall, James Vaughters and Josh Woods.
Bars joined the Bears in 2019 as an undrafted free agent, but really made an impact in the 2020 season. He started the last eight games of the season, and was a key component of the revamped offensive line at right guard.
The Bears claimed Holtz off waivers from Washington in Sept. 2019. That year he started seven games, and caught seven passes for 91 yards. In 2020 however, Holtz primarily played on special teams.
Nall signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and made his NFL debut in 2019. He broke through for his first career touchdown in Week 9 last season.
The Bears first signed Vaughters to a future/reserve contract in 2019, and played in 14 games for the Bears last season. He notched 22 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2020.
Finally, Woods joined the Bears practice squad in 2018 and made his NFL debut one year later. In 2020, he played in 15 games, recorded 15 tackles and recovered one fumble.
Exclusive rights free agents are players whose contracts have expired, but have fewer than three accrued years in the league. If that player’s team offers him a contract, he cannot negotiate, or sign, with any other teams.