The Bears retained another one of their key players before the start of free agency, agreeing to terms with veteran defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff Wednesday on a two-year contract.
It was his first action in over a year. The 6-4, 293-pounder underwent groin surgery in December 2012 when he was with the Cowboys and then injured his hamstring during a conditioning test at the start of training camp. He opened the 2013 season on Dallas' physically unable to perform list before being released Oct. 16.
Ratliff spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Cowboys after being selected by Dallas in the seventh round of the 2005 draft. After starting all 16 games and being voted to the Pro Bowl for four straight seasons from 2008-11, Ratliff was slowed by injuries.
The Bears have now signed 10 players who were due to become unrestricted free agents March 11. No other NFL team has inked more than three of their own players. Ratliff joins quarterback Jay Cutler; center Roberto Garza; kicker Robbie Gould; cornerbacks Kelvin Hayden, Tim Jennings and Derrick Martin; tight end Dante Rosario; guard Matt Slauson; and fullback Tony Fiammetta.