Jerrell Freeman Agrees to Contract with Bears

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent III

Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

Free-agent linebacker Jerrell Freeman is headed to the Chicago Bears after failing to reach an agreement with the Indianapolis Colts.

Freeman announced the move on Saturday:

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reported Freeman signed a three-year contract with Chicago. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the deal is worth $12 million, with $6 million guaranteed and $2 million in incentives.

On March 10, Chris Hagan of Fox59 reported negotiations with the Colts were not going well. Ultimately, the sides weren't able to find a middle ground.

The 29-year-old recorded 112 combined tackles, three sacks and an interception in 13 games last season. Freeman was brought aboard in 2012 during general manager Ryan Grigson's first year at the helm.

That also marked the arrival of a draft class headlined by quarterback Andrew Luck, but Grigson has struggled to build much of a formidable roster since then. Freeman is one of the few exceptional acquisitions Grigson made.

Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star featured Freeman as a top priority in opining about the Colts' biggest open-market needs:

With Luck hurt for much of the 2015 campaign—he posted only a 74.9 passer rating in the seven games he did play—the Colts were exposed as an all-around average team en route to an 8-8 record.

Indianapolis ranked 25th in points against and 26th in yards allowed even with Freeman making a bunch of plays in the heart of the defense.

The Bears have done well to bolster their linebacker corps, also signing former Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan during the free-agency period.