Bears land free-agent lineman Matt Slauson with one-year deal
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org March 29, 2013 8:50PM
New York Jets v Philadelphia Eagles
Updated: May 1, 2013 3:41PM
Matt Slauson doesn’t know what position he’ll play, and he only knows two people in the Bears’ organization.
But the veteran guard signed a one-year deal with the team because he felt wanted.
“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 told the Sun-Times.
A sixth-round pick of the New York Jets, Slauson started 48 games, but the team offered him just a one-year deal for the minimum salary.
The Bears didn’t offer a whole lot more, but they apparently made it clear that they’re open to a future beyond the 2013 season.
“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.”
There were several other factors working in the Bears’ favor. Slauson’s wife, Cami, is from the north suburbs, and Slauson became a Bears fan at the University of Nebraska.
Slauson, 27, was excited after having conversations with offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, who had served in the same capacity with the Jets.
“When [Cavanaugh] called, it was great because I feel the enthusiasm in his voice,” Slauson said. “When he was explaining everything, it just sounded like a great opportunity. And I got along with him really well.”
Slauson started at left guard for the Jets, but he played right guard during 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.”
Slauson has been a solid pro, but he’s known for his blind-side block on Brian Cushing in an October 2012 game that ended the Houston Texans linebacker’s season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
“I think about it all the time. It was just unfortunate the way it happened, Brian getting hurt,” Slauson said. “I was just trying to do whatever I could to win. And unfortunately, it worked out very badly.”
The Bears also re-signed veteran quarterback Josh McCown to a one-year deal.
Asked if he will back up Jay Cutler, McCown said, “We’ll see, but that’s my understanding.”
Cutler has been a big advocate of McCown, saying in December, “If I’m here, I want him here. That’s how I feel about it.”