Report: Hayes agrees to terms with Bears

PFW staff
Week 16 defensive rankings

The Bears added an outside linebacker with starting experience Thursday, agreeing to terms with OLB Geno Hayes, according to the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs.

Hayes started 42 games over the past three seasons, including 13 in 2011, for the Buccaneers. The 2008 sixth-round pick became a full-time starter in ’09. He has recorded seven career sacks, four interceptions and four forced fumbles.

He would fit best on the weak side as a run-and-chase ’backer in the Bears' cover-2 defense and could back up Lance Briggs. Hayes also can help on special teams.

The way we see it

Hayes fizzled out in Tampa Bay. The team didn't make him a priority to re-sign despite its abundance of salary-cap space this offseason. He was benched briefly by former head coach Raheem Morris and the club viewed his performance as a disappointment, but he won't be asked to play as big of a role in Chicago.