Bears sign Brian de la Puente

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The Bears have returned to stealth mode for another free-agent signing.

On Sunday after, the Bears announced out of the blue that former Saints center Brian de la Puente has agreed to terms on a one-year deal.

De la Puente, who supplanted former Bears center Olin Kreutz in New Orleans, started 44 of 48 regular-season games from 2011 through 2013.  He also started all four Saints postseason games in the last three years.

As explained by Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, de la Puente is expected to back up Roberto Garza in Chicago.  As pointed out by Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the move reunites de la Puente with former Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, who’s now the offensive coordinator in Chicago.

For the Saints, Tim Lelito becomes the starting center, for now.  Undrafted in 2013, Lelito appeared in 16 games with two starts last season.

34 responses to “Bears sign Brian de la Puente

  1. Brian was a solid center, but just like Charles Brown, the constant holding penalties were too much to deal with. Good depth move for thr bears.

  2. Wouldn’t be surprised if they were quietly trying to creat some competition for Garza as the starter. He’s not getting any younger but I’m sure they like what he brings to the locker room so they’ll avoid coming right out and saying that De La Puenta is in the mix as the starting center. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out in camp. Either way, another solid signing for Emery and the Bears. They’ve added a lot of depth this offseason and created a lot of competition.

  3. aaron kromer is takin’ everybody with him! ok…not everybody, but it sure feels like it.

    i just miss kromer…and having a good o-line. oh the good ol’ days.

  4. He and Charles Brown were the two weakest links on the O line in N.O. This was a needed change, not sold on Lelito either, they will draft one in the third round and possibly a starter…

  5. Not familiar with him, but this sounds like a nice depth move by Emery. Garza may not have much left, although he did rebound last year under Kromer.

  6. Strikes this Bears fan as a little odd considering they just re-signed Garza and have a 2nd year guy (Taylor Boggs) they liked enough to keep on the 53-man roster as an UDFA last year.

    That being said, Phil Emery has made a lot more right moves than wrong during his time in Chicago — especially as regards the O-Line — so I’ll go with him on this one. Garza can also play G so if the same is true of de La Puenta that gives them some options as far as interior line depth too.

  7. Actually we didn’t sign anyone big, your starting Center will be a back up here. It’s called a depth move. And both of our guys are better then what you have in place. Go troll someplace else bcajun

  8. 11dancingditkas says:
    Apr 6, 2014 6:31 PM
    Does this mean the end for Patrick Mannelly?

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    The long-snapper? I don’t think De La Puente was signed to be a long-snapper.

  9. another great move by emery. imagine how different it could have turned out for Cutler and the Bears if angelo and lovie would have understood that offense was part of the game and did even half as much to upgrade the line and offense that emery has in 2 years.

  10. bcajun says: Apr 6, 2014 8:23 PM

    “Haha bears fans act like they just signed someone big…”

    What Bears fans are you talking about? Everyone on here says it’s a depth move, nothing more.

  11. believeland2014 says:
    Apr 6, 2014 5:33 PM
    Why would he take a back up job if he was a starter in new orleans?

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    Maybe because Roberto Garza was signed to a one year deal and is 35 years old….just maybe…lol

  12. Emery is not only buying insurance for a 35-year old starter (Garza) this year, but hedging his bets for next year and beyond. If they can’t (or don’t want to) draft a C this year and the 2nd year guy they have doesn’t develop as they hoped, they simply re-up de la Puente with a longer term deal and have a plug-and-play guy for 2015 who will still be on the right side of 30 and oh by the way, already knows Kromer’s blocking system and line calls inside and out. It’s actually pretty brilliant when you think it all through.

  13. I don’t think the Saints were ever serious about re-signing him. He’s not a total bum but I think they are ready to upgrade. He gets overpowered even with All-Pro guards on both sides. They’ll probably make a run at Goodwin but I expect them to draft one to compete with Lelito. The Saints will be fine.

  14. If not a starter, at least he can be used for depth. Seems that ever since Drew got his Big payday they lose a lineman a year.

  15. charlie2254 says:
    Apr 7, 2014 12:01 AM
    Bet the bears wish they had a back like Sir Shady.

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    Matt Forte is a top 3 running back on the 2nd best scoring offense in the league.

    Sir Shady, I believe is McCoy and no the Bears are not a good fit for un-educated punks like Jackson and McCoy…..oh wait looks like the Eagles might not be either….

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