Bears agree to terms on one-year deal with safety Tom Zbikowski

By John Breech | CBSSports.com


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If Tom Zbikowski is tackling a Bears running back next season, it will be in practice. (USATSI)

Veteran safety and occasional boxer Tom Zbikowski has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

Zbikowski had been a free agent since March 15 when he was released by the Colts. Zbikowski, who started 11 games for Indianapolis last season, became expendable after the Colts signed LaRon Landry to a four-year deal.

Last season marked Zbikowski's first year as a full-time starter, but his season was cut short after he suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss Indy's final five regular season games.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano didn't expect Zbikowski to remain on the free-agent market long though. "Tommy still has a future in the league," Pagano told the Chicago Tribune on March 19. "Unfortunately he got hurt. When he came back, I don't know if he was 100 percent. There is gas left in the tank... All he needs is an opportunity. I know somebody will give him one and he'll make the best of it."

Besides Indianapolis, Zbikowski also spent time with Baltimore, the team that made him a third-round selection in the 2008 NFL Draft. Pagano was Zbikowski's defensive coordinator during Zbikowski's four seasons in Baltimore.

If the Bears keep Zbikowski at strong safety, he'll be competing with starter Major Wright for snaps next season, although its unlikely Zbikowski will crack the starting lineup. Wright started all 16 games for the Bears in 2012 and finished second on the team with four interceptions.

Of course, if the football thing doesn't work out, Zbikowski always has boxing. The former Notre Dame star has a 4-0 career record in the ring, with his last bout coming in April 2011.

Keep your eye on everything NFL by following John Breech on Twitter: @JohnBreech.

 
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