INDIANAPOLIS – The Bears on Saturday re-signed two of their exclusive free agents, quarterback Connor Shaw and long-snapper Patrick Scales, to one-year contracts.
Shaw originally joined the Bears last July 1 when he was claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Browns. He performed well in the preseason, completing 11 of 16 passes for 127 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 132.0 passer rating.
But Shaw was lost for the season when he suffered a broken leg in the Bears’ third preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He connected on 5 of 6 passes for 68 yards with one TD and a 153.5 passer rating in the game before getting injured.
Connor Shaw performed well last preseason before a broken leg ended his season.
Shaw entered the NFL in 2014 with the Browns as an undrafted free agent from South Carolina, where he teamed with Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery for two seasons.
Shaw spent most of his rookie year on the practice squad before being called upon to start the season finale after injuries sidelined Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer.
In a 20-10 loss to the Ravens in Baltimore, Shaw completed 14 of 28 passes for 177 yards with no touchdowns, one interception and a 55.2 passer rating.
Shaw missed the entire 2015 season with a thumb injury he sustained in a preseason game against the Washington Redskins.
Shaw played at South Carolina from 2010-13, completing 65.5 percent of his passes for 6,074 yards with 56 TDs and 16 interceptions in 43 games.
Scales, meanwhile, has appeared in 23 NFL games—two with the Ravens in 2014 and 21 with the Bears, five in 2015 and all 16 in 2016. He entered the NFL in 2011 as an undrafted free agent with the Ravens and has also spent time with the Dolphins, Jets and Buccaneers.
Exclusive free agents like Shaw and Scales can only negotiate with their own team.
The Bears now have 25 players who are due to become free agents when the new league year begins Thursday. The 17 unrestricted free agents are set to include receivers Jeffery, Marquess Wilson and Deonte Thompson; quarterbacks Hoyer and Matt Barkley; guard Ted Larsen; outside linebacker Sam Acho and kicker Connor Barth.
The others are tackle Mike Adams; tight end Logan Paulsen; cornerback Johnthan Banks; offensive linemen Nick Becton and Matt McCants; cornerback Brandon Boykin; safety Chris Prosinski; defensive end Cornelius Washington and nose tackle C.J. Wilson.
Two restricted free agents will be defensive back Demontre Hurst and inside linebacker Christian Jones. And five exclusive free agents will be receiver Joshua Bellamy, tight end Daniel Brown, defensive back Bryce Callahan, quarterback David Fales and linebacker Danny Mason.
Unrestricted free agents are free to sign with any NFL team without any draft choice compensation owed to the original club; restricted free agents can sign an offer sheet with another team but their original team has the opportunity to match it or receive draft pick compensation.