Healthy Competition

LAKE FOREST, IL - The Chicago Bears signed running back Rabih Abdullah to a three-year contract and tight end Luther Broughton to a one-year contract Wednesday. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Abdullah, a 6-1, 227 pounder out of Lehigh, was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for four years where he was acquired as an undrafted free agent in 1998. He carried the ball 11 times for 40 yards in 2001 (3.6 yards per carry) and had two receptions for 26 yards. A regular on the Bucs special teams, Abdullah appeared in 16 games last season and was the team's second-leading tackler with 21 stops and had five kickoff returns for 92 yards. After making the Bucs 53-man roster in 1998 he was inactive for each regular season contest before appearing in 15 of 16 games in 1999. He had career highs in rushes and yards in 2000, carrying 10 times for 38 yards versus Dallas. During his four-year NFL career, Abdullah has appeared in 43 games with one start, carrying the ball 32 times for 122 yards.

Broughton will join his third NFL team in Chicago, after splitting time between Philadelphia and Carolina in five seasons after being selected in the fifth round of the 1997 draft by Philadelphia. The 6-2, 248 pounder out of Furman caught two passes for 22 yards for Carolina last season and returned three kicks for 46 yards. He played in one game for Philadelphia in 1997 and was inactive for eig games before joining the Eagles practice squad where he was signed by the Panthers and inactive for the season finale. Braughton played in 16 games for the Panthers in 1998, catching six passes for 142 yards before being traded back to Philadelphia where he spent the 1999 and 2000 seasons. Broughton posted career bests for the Eagles in 1999, catching 26 passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns, playing in 31 of 32 contests during his second stint in Philadelphia with four starts. Carolina re-acquired Broughton for the 2001 season, signing him as an unrestricted free agent.

Broughton will join what is expected to be strong competition at the position among veterans Fred Baxter, John Davis and Dustin Lyman, the athletic third-year converted linebacker looking for a chance. Broughton is familiar with offensive coordinator John Shoop, having spent his rookie season in 1998 with Carolina.

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