Bears find another former 1st rounder in Meriweather

The Chicago Bears could cast their front office for an episode of “American Pickers” because that’s been the theme since the NFL’s lockout ended.

The Bears signed four former first-round draft picks at the start of training camp and added another on Sunday when they agreed to terms with Brandon Meriweather on a one-year contract.

Safety is a position of need for the Bears. The only healthy option they have behind starters Chris Harris and Major Wright currently is Winston Venable, an undrafted free agent from Boise State. Veteran Craig Steltz has a hip injury and rookie third-round pick Chris Conte has a concussion.

It’s another low-risk, high-reward proposition. Meriweather is a playmaker but has a track record of being undisciplined on and off the field. He’s been selected to the last two Pro Bowls, but league insiders say not to focus on that, and point out that New England coach Bill Belichick rarely gives up on talented players.

Over the last three seasons, Meriweather has 12 interceptions, four forced fumbles, two sacks and 235 tackles. He appeared in 48 games with 40 starts.

At the start of training camp, the Bears signed former first-round picks Roy Williams, Amobi Okoye, Chris Spencer and Vernon Gholston. The first three made the team with Gholston getting cut loose.

Now the question is how quickly he can pick up the scheme.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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