Stop me if you've heard this before: The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent linebacker D.J. Williams to a one-year deal.
That was a phrase typed by numerous Chicago journalists last offseason and once again the Bears this year have inked the 11-year veteran.
Williams started the first six games of the 2013 campaign at middle linebacker, racking up 27 total tackles, 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble, before a pectoral injury in Week 6 sent him to injured reserve. Bears brass expressed satisfaction with Williams during the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine and it was just a matter of time before the two sides came to terms.
The deal would have been finalized sooner yet Williams wanted to test the market with the hope he could land a multi-year deal. That didn't pan out, so the 31-year-old will return to Chicago for at least one more season.
The Bears will likely line Williams up at middle linebacker alongside Lance Briggs on the weak side. That will leave Jon Bostic, Khaseem Greene and Shea McClellin to fight it out for the starting strong-side job.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is entering his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.