Bears add center Brian De La Puente
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Brian De La Puente will provide depth for the Bears and competition for starting center Roberto Garza, Jeff Dickerson writes. Story
Terms of the deal weren't immediately disclosed.
De La Puente, 28, started all 16 games for the Saints in 2012 and 2013, and started 12 of 16 outings in 2011. De La Puente entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers in 2008 out of California, but has also spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs (2008), Seattle Seahawks (2009), Carolina Panthers (2009), and the 49ers again in 2010 before joining the Saints in 2011.
De La Puente, obviously, has some familiarity working with current Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer, who served in the same capacity with the Saints form 2009-12.
With De La Puente playing a key role on the offensive line, the Saints set NFL records in 2011 with 7,474 total yards on offense and 5,347 passing yards, in addition to finishing second in scoring (34.2 points per game) and tying for second with 24 sacks. The following year, New Orleans finished No. 2 in the league in total yards (410.9 yards per game), and third in scoring (28.8 points per game) while giving up 26 sacks, which tied for third fewest in the league.
De La Puente became the 30th player signed by the Bears since the final week of December, a group that includes 17 returners, 10 unrestricted free agents and three free agents.