Bears ink CB Hayden to one-year deal

Bears ink CB Hayden to one-year deal
April 5, 2012, 9:51 pm
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The Bears clearly dont hold a grudge.

Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kelvin Hayden broke their hearts and a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Bears in the second half Super Bowl XLI.

Now Hayden is a Bear, agreeing on a one-year contract that accomplishes multiple objectives for the Bears.

Hayden, the Colts second-round pick in the 2005 draft out of Illinois, gives the Bears experienced depth at a position of considerable need. The Bears previously re-signed Tim Jennings this offseason and had explored signing Hayden last offseason before he signed for one year with the Atlanta Falcons.

Hayden will be 29 in July and also gives the Bears a big corner (6-feet) in an NFC North replete with big receivers.

The signing also dials down any need urgency to select a cornerback high when the draft begins in three weeks. Just as trading for Brandon Marshall took wide receiver off the critical list, the addition of Hayden addresses an area of concern.

The Bears had begun the offseason with just two cornerbacks D.J. Moore and Charles Tillman under contract. Backup Zackary Bowman signed with the Minnesota Vikings.

Hayden started 47 games (out of 85 played) with the Colts from 2005-2010 and Falcons last season. He has 312 career tackles and 11 interceptions along with 41 passes defensed.

He also has played in 10 postseason games, starting five, and has three INTs in the postseason.

His most memorable came at the Bears expense when he stepped in front of a Rex Grossman pass intended for Muhsin Muhammed at the Indianapolis 44 in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLI. Hayden returned the resulting INT 56 yards for a clinching score.

The Bears trailed 22-17 at the time and had the ball with a chance to score. Hayden finished the game with four tackles and another pass defensed in addition to a special-teams tackle.