The Bears have signed three safeties since the start of free agency and those new arrivals won’t have to compete for time with incumbent starter Chris Conte during the team’s offseason program.
Conte had shoulder surgery in March that is expected to keep him out for 4-5 months, a period of time that will include the Bears’ OTAs, minicamps and other work ahead of training camp this summer. The timeline won’t do Conte any favors when it comes to keeping his job, but Conte didn’t feel the chances of doing that were too good if he didn’t have the operation.
“I know I’m going to have to compete for my position on this team,” Conte said, via the team’s website. “I am prepared to do that and felt having this surgery was the best way to be 100 percent healthy and be the best player I can possibly be.”
Conte started all 16 games for the Bears last season, recording 95 tackles and three interceptions on a defense that performed poorly across the board. With Major Wright likely leaving the team, the Bears have Conte, Craig Steltz and the recently signed M.D. Jennings, Danny McCray and Ryan Mundy at safety at this point in the offseason.