The Chicago Bears aren't waiting for free agency to start improving their roster.
Tre Roberson, arguably the top free agent in the Canadian Football league, has elected to sign with the Bears, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Chicago is giving him the largest CFL-to-NFL deal since Miami signed Cameron Wake to a four-year contract worth up to $4.9 million, Schefter noted.
Roberson, 27, hails from Indianapolis and started his college career as a quarterback at Indiana before transferring to Illinois State. He switched to cornerback in preparation to his jump to the pros. After landing on the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad in 2016, Roberson was eventually waived and signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL.
The move quickly paid off, as Roberson helped Calgary win the Grey Cup in his first season.
In 32 games with the Stampeders, Roberson totaled 95 tackles, 10 interceptions, two touchdowns and two forced fumbles.
Schefter noted multiple NFL teams were interested in signing Roberson, but the Bears ultimately won out.
This isn't the first time Chicago brought in someone from the CFL. In 2013, the team tabbed Marc Trestman as its head coach after he had four successful seasons leading the Montreal Alouettes. However, Trestman lasted only two seasons in the NFL and went 13-19 before the team decided to make a change.
While Roberson doesn't fix the Bears' most glaring issue—namely the quarterback situation—he should be able to step in right away and compete for playing time on a defensive unit that ranked eighth in the NFL last season, allowing only 324.1 yards and 18.6 points per game. Roberson can especially help in the turnover department, as the Bears ranked 25th in the league last year with only 10 interceptions.