The Chicago Bears have agreed to terms with free-agent offensive lineman Matt Slauson.
Slauson (6-5, 315) is a former sixth-round draft pick (193rd overall) of the New York Jets in the 2009 NFL Draft. He has started every regular-season game for the Jets (48 total) over the last three seasons, all at left guard.
“We are excited that Matt will be a Bear,” Bears General Manager Phil Emery said in the team's press official press release. “He brings physical play and smarts to the offensive guard position and to the offensive line as an overall unit. His size, strength and power will allow him to challenge for either of the starting guard positions.”
This move comes fewer than 48 hours after the Bears lost Lance Louis to the Miami Dolphins. Slauson will likely be penciled in as the starting left guard, considering his experience and overall high level of play.
Slauson (27 years old) is a bit taller than most offensive guards and cannot get the same type of leverage in the run game as some of his shorter, rounder counterparts. As such, he won't be a mauler as a run blocker, yet in pass protection, Slauson is solid. According to Pro Football Focus, he was the 20th best pass-blocking guard in the league in 2012, three spots behind Louis, and allowed just one sack.
Before the start of free agency, the Bears were rumored to have interest in Slauson's former teammate, guard Brandon Moore. Instead, Chicago landed a player five years younger and many millions cheaper.
Continuing with the recent trend, Emery signed Slauson to a one-year deal. If it's worth substantially more than the veteran minimum ($715,000), I'll eat my shoe.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.