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Bears sign Unrein, Mariani

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The Bears have signed two of their own free agents, Mitch Unrein and Marc Mariani.

Unrein made four starts at defensive end last season and played in 14 games. He signed with the Bears after playing two games and then being waived by the Chargers.

Unrein, 28, is a former undrafted free agent who played for the Broncos from 2011-14. He signed a two-year deal.

Mariani, 28, signed a one-year deal. He’s spent the last two seasons returning kicks and playing as a backup wide receiver for the Bears, though he started five games last year and set new career highs with 22 catches for 300 yards.

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10 Responses to “Bears sign Unrein, Mariani”
  1. vicnocal says: Mar 12, 2016 5:35 PM


  2. bassplucker says: Mar 12, 2016 5:37 PM

    Decent depth signings especially as they are short term and I assume don’t contain a lot of guaranteed dollars. Unrein reminds me a lot Jim Flanigan, a lunch pail guy that as a bonus does a nice job lead blocking in short yardage. I expert Langford and Carey to get a few goal line TDs behind him this season.

    Mariani is a grease fire as a returner but clutch as a WR especially on 3rd down where he bailed us out a LOT last year. He’s a very very low-rent Wes Welker but he and Cutler had some chemistry by the end of the season so I don’t see any need to let him go and just create another hole to fill.

    Deals like this aren’t as sexy as signing other team’s big-name starters but they’re part of a GM’s job too and it seems like Ryan Pace is doing them well.

  3. 11miket says: Mar 12, 2016 5:50 PM

    In the beginning, I was upset at Pace because everyone was going crazy with Free Agency and the Bears seemed like they weren’t doing much. But looking at it now. I would say that the Bears are at the top on the drafting of free agents without breaking the bank. And getting Top players. Allot has to do with Pace because of who he knows from the Saints and John Fox for who he knows from Denver and I’m drawing a blank on the other team. Plus we still have the Draft. This is great. Our guys know what there doing. I am very excited about this coming Football year.

  4. philtration says: Mar 12, 2016 5:51 PM

    I don’t ever want to see Mariani return another kick.


  5. 11miket says: Mar 12, 2016 6:05 PM

    Oh one more thing. John Elway and Kubiak you do have one person on your defense, Von Miller. I bet he’s now happy the defense left. I feel sorry for him now.

  6. spiffybiff says: Mar 12, 2016 8:32 PM

    Mariani has been just a guy since his injury in Tennessee. If I am the Bears I am asking for a second rounder for cutler from Denver or the jets. This team is still not going anywhere. They need real difference makers in the draft

  7. bassplucker says: Mar 12, 2016 10:26 PM

    Notice how the only incumbent Bears getting their deals re-upped are the guys Pace and Fox brought in? They are subtly but systematically purging the guys from the former regime and remaking the roster and along with it the culture.

    What I really like is that we are importing guys from top tier orgs that have won a lot of games and haven’t just made the playoffs but have gone deep into them. The Colts that Freeman left weren’t good last year but aren’t that far removed from being solid. Trevathan obviously is sporting a ring and Massie from the Cardinals and if we get Hicks there’s a guy from the Patriots. The Angelo and Emery days of bringing in garbage from the Jags, Bucs, Rams and other losers is over. Fox and Fangio are winners and they want guys playing for them who know what it feels like and what it takes.

  8. icebowler says: Mar 12, 2016 10:35 PM

    bassplucker says:
    Mar 12, 2016 5:37 PM

    Unrein reminds me a lot Jim Flanigan, a lunch pail guy that as a bonus does a nice job lead blocking in short yardage. I expert Langford and Carey to get a few goal line TDs behind him this season.
    You’ve confused me. The article says Unrein is a Defensive End. Does he play on the O-Line in goal-to-goal short yardage too?

  9. bassplucker says: Mar 13, 2016 7:06 PM

    @icebowler, yes they line up Unrein as a FB on the goal line sometimes. IIRC we got at least a couple of TDs behind him last season.

  10. admiral174 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:46 AM

    Remember the game he got applause when he did not Muff the Kick Return?

    Expectations as a returner are very low.

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