It's been a long time coming for the Chicago Bears and Kelvin Hayden, a graduate of Chicago's Hubbard High School and a cornerback the Bears have pursued for more than a year. We thought he might join the team last summer, but the Bears passed because of concern about his surgically-repaired neck.
Those concerns apparently have abated, because Hayden signed a one-year contract Thursday with the Bears. The Bears' top three cornerbacks from last season -- Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings and D.J. Moore -- will all return in 2012, but if he's healthy, Hayden could compete for playing time at least in the nickel. He is well-versed in the Bears' style of defense after playing under coach Tony Dungy for the Indianapolis Colts for six seasons, and you might remember his 56-yard return of an interception for a touchdown in the Colts' 29-17 victory against the Bears in Super Bowl XLI.