According to ESPN's Ed Werder, Ratliff, who spent nine mostly decorated years with the 'Boys but was released earlier this season, has agreed to a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears:
Former Cowboys DT Jay Ratliff has agreed to 1-year contract to join Bears. Will play against Cowboys later this month— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) November 2, 2013
The Bears confirmed the news later in the evening, stating "the Bears on Saturday bolstered an injury-depleted position by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, a four-time Pro Bowler. "
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport notes Ratliff won't be available for a few weeks:
Ex-Cowboys DT Jay Ratliff may not be able to play for a few weeks. but he has a deal. A 1-year deal with the #Bears, per source.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 2, 2013
The Bears host Dallas on Monday Night Football on Dec. 9.
In eight seasons with the Cowboys, Ratliff racked up 227 combined tackles, 27 sacks and 13 fumble recoveries, per Pro Football Reference. The former Auburn star was named to four Pro Bowls in a row from 2008 through 2011 and was a First Team All-Pro in 2009.
Ratliff, who was arrested on a DWI charge in January, spent the start of the 2013 season on the PUP list because of a nagging hamstring injury. The Cowboys released him in October.
Calvin Watkins of ESPN talked to a Cowboys official on Ratliff's return and he expressed sarcasm after the anouncement:
Asked a Cowboys official about Jay Ratliff's return and he said, "it's a miracle."— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) November 3, 2013
The 32-year-old may not be the same player he once was, but as long as he can prove to be healthy, he can certainly help fill the void created when the Bears' best defensive tackle, Henry Melton, was lost for the season with a torn ACL back in September.
Is this a good signing for the Bears?
Currently, the Bears are 19th in the NFL in yards per rush allowed and dead last in sacks. Adding the veteran Ratliff to an interior group that includes Corey Wootton, Stephen Paea and Zach Minter will help as the team, currently 4-3 and third in the NFC North, attempts to make a run at the postseason.