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Bears land free-agent ILB Trevathan

Posted Mar 9, 2016

The Bears didn’t waste any time bolstering their defense, agreeing to a four-year contract with inside linebacker Danny Trevathan less than an hour into free agency.

The Bears didn't waste any time bolstering their defense, agreeing to a four-year contract with inside linebacker Danny Trevathan less than an hour into free agency.

Trevathan, who will turn 26 on March 24, spent his first four NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos. The 6-1, 240-pounder appeared in 50 career games with 32 starts, recording 282 tackles, three sacks, 19 passes defensed, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Trevathan was selected by the Broncos in the sixth round of the 2012 draft with a pick acquired from the Jets in a trade for quarterback Tim Tebow. The Kentucky product was chosen four spots after the Bears picked defensive back Isaiah Frey.

Trevathan is considered a three-down linebacker who possesses the speed and athleticism to cover tight ends. He joins a Bears defense that improved from 30th in 2014 to 14th in total yards last season but failed to produce many impact plays.

In 2015, the unit generated just 15 takeaways, didn’t have a player with more than two interceptions for the first time since 1975 and didn’t score a touchdown on an interception or fumble return for the first time since 1997.

Trevathan was a key member of the Broncos' Super Bowl-winning defense last year. Playing in a 3-4 scheme for the first time in his career, he registered a team-leading 109 tackles for a unit that ranked first in the NFL in total yards and passing yards. He recovered two fumbles in Denver’s 24-10 win over the Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

In a Week 11 victory over the Bears at Soldier Field, Trevathan compiled eight tackles and intercepted a Jay Cutler pass in the third quarter.

Trevathan had an even more productive season while playing for Bears coach John Fox in Denver in 2013. In his first year as a starter, Trevathan set career highs with 129 tackles, 10 passes defensed, three interceptions, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. His 129 tackles were the most by a Broncos player since 2007.

Trevathan's success last season came after an injury-plagued 2014 campaign during which he was limited to just three games. He suffered bone fractures near his knee Aug. 12 in a training camp practice and again in a Week 6 win over the Jets. He later sustained a dislocated knee cap in a Week 15 victory over the Chargers.

In joining the Bears, Trevathan reunites not only with Fox but special-teams coordinator Jay Rodgers and director of pro scouting Champ Kelly, both of whom worked with the Broncos during Trevathan's first three seasons in Denver.