Bears Sign Rookies Paea and Conte

DT Stephen Paea (Steve Dykes/Getty)

The Chicago Bears only have one 2011 draft pick left to sign, as the team this morning finalized the rookie contracts of second-round selection Stephen Paea and third-rounder Chris Conte.

The Chicago Bears signed DT Stephen Paea to a four-year contract and agree to terms with S Chris Conte on a four-year contract. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Paea, who was selected by the Bears in the second round (53rd overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft, was a two-time winner of Morris Trophy which goes to the top defensive lineman in the Pac 10 while also being named the 2010 Pac 10 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year. The two-time team captain for Oregon State started 37 of his 38 games played for the Beavers (2008-10) posting 129 tackles (60 solo), 14 sacks, 30.5 TFLs and five quarterback pressures, setting a school record with nine forced fumbles.

Conte was selected in the third round (93rd overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft after playing in 50 games at California (2007-10), making 17 starts (12 at safety, five at corner) for the Golden Bears. During his collegiate career, Conte finished with 157 tackles (100 solo), four tackles for losses, two interceptions and 11 pass break ups. He added one forced fumble, a fumble recovery and blocked a punt that he returned for a touchdown. As a senior, Conte started all 12 games played at safety, earning first-team all-Pac 10 honors.


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