The Indianapolis Colts recently released Hayden as a salary cap casualty and not because they felt he wouldn’t be able to produce at a high level when healthy.
The Bears are very familiar with Hayden, who snagged a pick-six late in the 2007 Super Bowl to lock the game up in the Colts’ favor.
The team brought him in on Monday for a physical but the results have not been released.
Hayden went on the IR last season with a neck injury but is saying he is fully recovered now after having surgery in January.
Kelvin is a Chicago native and expressed a desire to play for his hometown team. He would have been a great fit in a weak secondary at a bargain price.
The Bears are going to trot out Charles Tillman, a bonafide starter, along with either Tim Jennings or Zack Bowman. Joshua Moore, Corey Graham and D.J. Moore are all also in the mix at the position as well.
None of these players are as good as Kelvin when he is healthy.
As a six-year veteran, Hayden would bring experience, leadership and a championship pedigree to a Bears team that direly needs it. The defensive back has played with a winning organization his entire career and would help the Bears retain that status themselves.
As a player available this late in free agency who was released by his former team, Hayden would come at a discount too. He’s most likely only seeking a one-year deal for a low amount of guaranteed money. This is so he can prove himself and get a longer contract for more money next offseason.
The Bears simply made a mistake by not taking advantage of Hayden’s availability and desire to play for the team. It might come back to haunt them.