Brandon Meriweather agrees with Bears

Updated: September 4, 2011, 4:31 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

The Chicago Bears announced they have reached a one-year agreement with former New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather.

The Patriots cut Meriweather, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, on Saturday.

It's unclear how exactly Meriweather's arrival will impact the Bears secondary. After allowing Danieal Manning to sign with the Houston Texans in free agency, the Bears promoted 2010 third-round pick Major Wright to full-time starting status at one of the safety spots, along with veteran Chris Harris. Wright began the preseason on a high note, but missed a few key tackles in the second and third exhibition games.

Harris, who tied for the team lead in 2010 with five interceptions, is entering the final year of his contract.

The timing of the Meriweather signing also coincides with the fact the Bears depth at safety took a hit in the club's preseason finale versus Cleveland. The second team safety duo of Craig Steltz (hip) and Chris Conte (head) were both forced to leave the game early due to injuries. Conte's head issue is especially concerning when you consider the aggressive stance the NFL is taking towards concussions. It's unknown whether Steltz and Conte will both be available when the Bears open the regular season next Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

New England drafted Meriweather in the first round from Miami in 2007. He has 224 tackles and 12 interceptions in 64 career games, including 40 starts.

Contract terms were not immediately available.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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