Bears sign Rashied Davis

Updated: August 6, 2012, 2:27 PM ET
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears brought back veteran receiver and special-teams standout Rashied Davis on Monday, signing him to a one-year contract.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but it's likely the Bears signed Davis to a veteran minimum contract. The latest move addresses a void on special teams left by free-agent acquisition Devin Thomas, who on Sunday surprisingly announced his retirement at age 25.

"Somebody walked off the field; he didn't want his job," Davis, 33, said of Thomas. "I guess I want it. So it's all good with me."

An eighth-year veteran, Davis played his first six seasons with the Bears starting in 15 games while serving primarily as a four-phase special-teams contributor. In 103 career games, Davis has caught 92 passes for 1,095 yards and five touchdowns, in addition to returning 72 kickoffs for 1,400 yards.

Davis signed as a free-agent with the Detroit Lions prior to the start of the 2011 season. He played 11 games for the Lions last season and admitted the difficulty of competing against his former Bears teammates.

"I only had to do it one time, and that time we just happened to get smacked around a little bit (the Bears won 37-13 on Nov. 13), which made it more difficult," Davis said.

Upon signing with the Lions, Davis thought he'd never receive an opportunity to return to the Bears. But "at about 10 o'clock" on Sunday night, Davis received the news he'd be coming back to compete for a roster spot.

Davis said he kept in contact with Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub throughout the offseason.

Davis won't be allowed to join the Bears on the practice field for three days, which also means he'll be unavailable to play in the Thursday's exhibition opener against the Denver Broncos.

Prior to leaving the Bears, Davis contributed down the stretch as a receiver in 2010, catching nine passes for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Davis' main competition for a roster spot at this point appear to be Dane Sanzenbacher and undrafted rookie Brittan Golden, who continues draw the attention of the coaching staff with strong performances during training camp practices.

Sanzenbacher knows he's a longshot to make the roster, and considers his current situation "the same" as 2011 -- when he came in as an undrafted rookie -- "just a year down the road."

Davis takes that same mentality into his quest to make the club's final 53-man roster and at one point in the offseason pondered whether his career was over.

"It gets difficult when (you've) got two young kids, and I'm trying to figure out what the next step life is gonna be," Davis said. "(I see this as) an opportunity to play football. That's all I ever wanted.

"That's all I've ever asked for. Nothing's changed for me. It's no different than any time I was ever here. I was always expected to get cut. So I've always pushed to make teams. I'm gonna have to do the same this year."

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter