5 things to know about new Bears LB A.J. Klein

The Chicago Bears acquired linebacker A.J. Klein from the Baltimore Ravens as a part of the Roquan Smith trade. Klein was in the middle of his first season with the Ravens before being traded to Chicago.

Klein is a solid player, who has started many games as a linebacker, so he will add good depth to the Bears’ rebuilding defense. He also is someone who plays special teams. That is a huge plus to bringing him aboard in Chicago.

Here are five things to new about the Bears’ newest linebacker, A.J. Klein.

Klein has been a journeyman in the NFL

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Klein has played in a game for four different NFL teams before joining the Bears. He was drafted by the Panthers in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Klein also had stops with the Saints, Bills, and Ravens. He also spent time on the Giants practice squad earlier in the 2022 NFL season, but never suited up for them. The Bears will be Klein’s fifth team since joining the league.

Klein has played in a Super Bowl

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Klein was on the 2015-16 Panthers team that went 15-1 and played in Super Bowl 50. Though they fell short, Klein got to play in a Super Bowl in his third season. Klein has played in 12 playoff games over his 10-year career. He is no stranger to the “bright lights.”

Klein provides depth at linebacker

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Klein will provide depth for a relatively young linebacker group following Smith’s departure. While the Bears would surely like to get younger guys like Jack Sanborn and Sterling Weatherford valuable reps, Klein should be a veteran presence in that room, as well as a key special teams contributor.

Klein ran track in high school

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Klein was a dual-sport athlete in high school. He played on a near-perfect football team, going 37-1 in the 38 games he appeared in, and he also ran track. He was a letterman in both sports. Though he went the football route, that didn’t mean the speed didn’t follow. Before the 2013 draft, Klein ran a 4.66 40-yard dash.

Klein played as a true freshman in college

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Klein committed to Iowa State University and played every game as a true freshman. He finished his freshman season with 17 tackles and one fumble recovery. He parlayed the success he found as a true freshman to becoming a two-time First Team All-Big 12 award winner in both 2011 and 2012, and the Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire