Bears sign exclusive rights free agents Roy Robertson-Harris, Isaiah Irving

Roy Robertson-Harris could get some play at outside pass rusher this year.

The Bears started their offseason conditioning work at Halas Hall Monday by first finishing some house cleaning in the payroll department.

Outside linebacker Isaiah Irving and defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris were both signed for this season. The two were exclusive rights free agents who'd been tendered offers, essentially meaning they weren't going anywhere.

Exclusive right free agents have two or less seasons played and once they were tendered by the Bears they couldn't negotiate with another team. They receive a minimum salary for one year.

Robertson-Harris, who used to wear jersey No. 74, is best known for making the hit on Aaron Rodgers in last season's opener that resulted in an MCL sprain and a crack in his shinbone just below the knee. Rodgers returned to the game after leaving, and played the rest of the season.

The Bears first signed Robertson-Harris as an undrafted free agent linebacker out of UTEP in May of 2016, but he was on the non-football illness list all season due to problems from a heat-related illness. He put on weight and converted to a defensive end in the 3-4 formation before playing in 2017 and 2018. Robertson-Harris had three sacks, 11 quarterback hits and 22 tackles playing all 16 games last season. He had two sacks, four hits and 12 tackles in 13 games the previous season.

At the NFL owners meetings, GM Ryan Pace hinted they may try to use Robertson-Harris some at pass rush linebacker. However, that was before they resigned Lynch.

Irving was signed as an undrafted free agent from San Jose State in 2017 but was cut and signed to the practice squad before being promoted in to the 53-man roster in October. He had his first career sack last season in the Nov. 4 win at Buffalo. He has 10 career tackles and last year was a fourth linebacker behind Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd and Aaron Lynch.



Gene Chamberlain
EditorGene Chamberlain
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