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Bears sign Geno Hayes

Geno+Hayes+90-gJD77Ugwm Getty Images

A day after adding Chilo Rachal to their offensive line, the Bears have added to their linebacker corps.

Geno Hayes, formerly of the Buccaneers, has agreed to terms on a contract, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Hayes, who doesn’t turn 25 until August, replaced Bucs star Derrick Brooks in the starting lineup in 2009 and started 42 games for Tampa over the last three years. He got dropped from the starting lineup late last season and finished the year with 64 tackles.

Hayes fits the profile of what the Bears are looking for at outside linebacker, although it’s unclear if the team views him as a potential starter. Biggs wonders if he might push Nick Roach on the strong-side, but the Bears were in need of an experienced backup so Hayes would fit if he’s in that role.

There’s been talk about the Bears grabbing some linebackers in the draft to add some youth to a group that’s on the older side. They could still do that, but Hayes’ acquisition gives them a bit more flexibility than they previously had in that department.

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14 Responses to “Bears sign Geno Hayes”
  1. damayan5 says: Apr 19, 2012 12:27 PM

    Looked promising at times and did make a few flash plays in his career. But last year the Buccaneers had LB play as a whole that was one of the worst in recent history…
    Will probably become a decent backup but the Bears shouldnt want him to start.

  2. sledgehorn says: Apr 19, 2012 12:28 PM

    It’s Chilo Rachal, not Chilo Rachel…
    My god am I football degenerate…

  3. nineroutsider says: Apr 19, 2012 12:29 PM

    Da Bears got a steal here, I know Tampa fan says he sucks, but I think Hayes will prove he can start in this league and play well.

  4. frankrizzo51 says: Apr 19, 2012 12:35 PM

    Solid pick up to bridge the gap between veterans and draftees.

  5. qmizzle says: Apr 19, 2012 12:50 PM

    Good look.

  6. ditkadontbutkus says: Apr 19, 2012 1:02 PM

    Good signing — they’ve made some smart plans this offseason. Maybe there’s hope for us yet!!

  7. philtration says: Apr 19, 2012 1:26 PM

    The Bears have done well since Angelo was shown the door.
    I am not a Lovie Smith fan but I have accepted that he is going to be here for at least one more year and that idiot Mike Martz is gone so we will see.
    All they need to do is have a smart and productive draft and they will be fine.

  8. toonsterwu says: Apr 19, 2012 2:15 PM

    I doubt Hayes challenges Roach. I just don’t think Hayes is a good fit on the strong side covering TE’s, and Roach, if anything, is steady.

    That said, it’s a good pickup that provides a young guy who can learn behind Briggs/Urlacher. A nice depth move in case they don’t land LB’s in the draft, giving them a lot more flexibility.

  9. jpiro says: Apr 19, 2012 2:24 PM

    Hell yes! FINALLY, a Nole on the team.

    Watched Geno throughout his career at FSU. He’s very fast and has great instincts, though he’s a bit undersized and can overrun plays at times. Defends the pass pretty well, and has good hands for deflecting and/or intercepting balls from the LB position.

    Nice pickup, Bears.

  10. milkmandanimal says: Apr 19, 2012 3:02 PM

    If the Bears are getting the 2010 version, it’s a heck of a pickup. If it’s the 2011 version, good luck. That being said, it’s a solid pickup assuming the contract numbers are sane; the guy has showed flashes of potential, and he’s easily worth taking a flyer on.

  11. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Apr 19, 2012 3:22 PM

    He’ll get you a few tremendous splash plays, unfortunately that’s usually all he’s good for as he struggles to be consistent and make the routine plays.

    Of course, his defensive coordinators haven’t exactly been up to par either to this point, so I could see this working out well for him in Chicago. He definitely has potential, no debate there. Wish him well.

  12. jutts says: Apr 19, 2012 3:38 PM

    Thank God we got Phil Emery: Some of these guys might not make the team, but at least we are gaining some depth. Can’t wait to see what the Bears do in the draft with a guy who can evaluate talent. For a change……

  13. tbbucs1638 says: Apr 19, 2012 4:17 PM

    Im a bucs fan and he didnt suck, he just had problems with tackling, he wasnt aggressive enough but he is great n pass coverage, so toonster thats where your wrong, hes better n coverage than roach so he should play alot n passing situations but roach is a more sound tackler

  14. buffalicious says: Apr 21, 2012 5:53 AM

    Normally if a linebacker can’t tackle….that means he sucks!!!

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