C Chris Spencer to sign with the Bears
Posted by Danny O'Neil
Chris Spencer has reached an agreement to join the Bears. He will be signing a two-year contract, according to reports from Chicago.
Spencer was a first-round draft pick of the Seahawks in 2005, and he spent the first year learning behind Robbie Tobeck, who made the Pro Bowl that season.
Spencer began next season starting at guard, and then moved to center. He started 60 games in his six seasons, and was one of the tougher players on the team. In 2009, he played despite a broken thumb on his snapping hand, requiring him to snap left-handed.
Seattle did not pursue him in free agency. The Bears' front office includes Tim Ruskell, who was the Seahawks president when Spencer was chosen by Seattle.Spencer's reaction to the opportunity?
"Just excited," he said. "Excited to go and start a new chapter in my career. Excited to get out to Chicago and get back."
He was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in 2010 until the league went to an uncapped year, which left him a restricted free agent. He signed a one-year tender, and was a player that Alex Gibbs believed would be a mainstay of his line. Gibbs resigned a week before the regular-season started, and while Spencer played every game for Seattle last season, the team did not seek to re-sign him. That didn't change his feelings about the team.
"I'm happy with my time being a Seahawk," he said. "I was happy to be a Seahawk. I want to thank all the fans there that. No ill will feelings toward them or anything like that. It's time for me to move on. Max Unger, Mike Gibson, Trufant and all those guys there, and the Seattle-area will still be my home."
Spencer was asked if Ruskell's familiarity played a role in signing, and he said that yes, and that's not unique. After all, Tennessee has a number of former Seattle executives, including GM Mike Reinfeldt, which certainly played a role in the Titans' acquisition of Hasselbeck.
"Familiarity plays a big part in a lot of it," Spencer said, then pointed to Ruskell. "Just talking to him, he drafted me, he knows what kind of player I am. I think that helps out, too."
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