The Chicago Bears added a new linebacker to the mix who has some familiarity with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio:
We have signed LB Dan Skuta to a 1-year contract.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 8, 2017
Dan Skuta signed a one-year deal with the Bears, re-uniting the eight-year pro with Fangio. Skuta played two years with the San Francisco 49ers, playing 30 games (making 18 starts) and coming up with five sacks, 46 tackles, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and a defensive touchdown. Skuta spent the last two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, making 26 appearances (10 starts) with 46 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He was a cap casualty in Jacksonville, who released him this offseason to save $4.1 million in cap space.
By Pro Football Focus’ standards, Skuta’s best years came while with Fangio and the 49ers when he earned a 78.6 grade in 2013 and 74.4 in 2014.
The New England Patriots met with Skuta earlier in the offseason before he signed with the Bears. According to PFF, Skuta ranked as the 29th best 3-4 outside linebacker in defending the run with a 7.2 run stop percentage and did not miss a tackle in the 153 snaps he played as a run defender. This could turn into a sneaky good signing for a Bears team whose run defense struggled throughout the 2016 season.
Skuta’s career started in 2009, where he signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent. The 6-foot-2, 251-pound linebacker played his college ball at Division II Grand Valley State, where his head coach was Brian Kelly, who now coaches at Notre Dame.