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Former Jet Slauson agrees to contract with Bears

Veteran guard Matt Slauson had choices, but the Bears had something working in their favor.

“I’ve been a fan of the Bears for a long time,” Slauson told the Sun-Times Friday after agreeing to terms on a one-year deal. So how does an Oregon native who played at Nebraska come to be a Bears fan?

Well, when he arrived at the University of Nebraska, he figured he could be a fan of the Bears or the Kansas City Chiefs.

He picked the Bears.

“I liked the Bears more, and I grew up watching (Brian) Urlacher play,” he said.

Urlacher isn’t coming back, but Slauson is excited about the direction of the team.

“With the changes they’ve made, they have a great chance of winning the division and really doing well. I just hope I can help them,” he said. “I’m incredibly excited about it.”

Slauson was a sixth-round pick of the New York Jets, starting 48 games. He said they tried to keep him but only offered him a minimum deal.

“They tried, but they weren’t offering as much as the Bears, and I just think I have a better chance with the Bears to set me and my family up for more of a long-term thing,” he said. “I don’t know if the Jets were serious about a long-term deal.”

Slauson first heard from Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer then new quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, who had served in the same capacity with the Jets.

“When he called, it was great because I feel the enthusiasm in his voice,” Slauson said of Cavanaugh. “When he was explaining everything, it just sounded like a great opportunity. And I got along with him really well.

“They didn’t look at me as just a number. That was really important to me, that I would be a valued member of the organization.”

Slauson started at left guard for the Jets, but he played right guard his senior year at Nebraska.

“I have a lot of experience at both. If they put me on the right side, it’ll take me a couple of practices to get that comfort level back,” he said. “But I’ll play wherever they want me to.”

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