Just hours into the NFL free agent signing period Tuesday, the Bears bolstered their defense by agreeing to a five-year contract with defensive end Lamarr Houston.
"I'm honored to be joining an organization that has such rich football history," Houston told ChicagoBears.com. "The things that they've already accomplished are something that when you join this organization you hope you can live up to. You know that you're expected to reach certain levels and standards while you're playing for the Bears."
Houston opted to join the Bears due in part to both their storied history and the talent currently on their roster.
"What set the Bears apart for me besides having a team that's in a position to win is the attitude of the players who have played there before; guys like Dick Butkus, with that nasty, in-your-face tough football. That's what I love to play and being in an organization that embraces that, I think it's a good fit for me."
Last season Houston started all 16 games for the second straight year, establishing career highs with 69 tackles and six sacks while also compiling two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
The acquisition of Houston should help a defense that struggled in 2013, when the Bears allowed the most points (478) and yards (6,313) in franchise history while tying the Jacksonville Jaguars for last in the NFL with 31 sacks.
Houston, who will turn 27 in June, was selected by the Raiders in the second round of the 2010 draft out of Texas.
Asked what he's like Bears fans to know about him, Houston said: "I'd like to let them know that I'm always going to give it my all. I'm going to work hard and try to be the best I can for the Bears."