Bears land Bushrod to help solidify O-line

Seeking to bolster a beleaguered offensive line, the Chicago Bears struck a five-year agreement with tackle Jermon Bushrod on Tuesday's first day of free agency.

The Chicago Tribune reported the deal to be worth nearly $36 million with $17.715 million guaranteed for Bushrod, a Pro Bowl honoree with the New Orleans Saints in each of the last two seasons who served as Drew Brees' primary blind-side protector the past four years.

Bushrod broke into the NFL as a fourth-round draft choice of the Saints in 2007 and became the team's regular left tackle in his third year, starting 14 regular-season games and all three playoff tests during New Orleans' Super Bowl XLIV run during the 2009 campaign. During his time as a starter, the Saints have surrendered just 96 sacks, tied for the fewest in the league.

The Bears, on the other hand, have allowed at least 44 sacks in each of the last three seasons.

Bushrod has also been durable, having not missed a game since 2009.

The 28-year-old will be reunited with his onetime offensive line coach in New Orleans, Aaron Kromer, who was hired as the Bears' offensive coordinator in January.