Roberto Garza, Chicago Bears strike one-year deal


Jay Cutler won't have to break in a new center in 2014.

The Bears agreed to terms with center Roberto Garza on a one-year contract, the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs reported Thursday. The team later confirmed the signing.

The 34-year-old veteran said earlier this month he wanted to remain in Chicago if general manager Phil Emery wanted him back. A one-year deal makes sense to keep together an offensive line that improved and gelled as 2013 progressed.

"Getting a chance to play with that offense and on that line, I am looking forward to building off what we did," Garza told the Tribune.

Entering his 14th season, Garza has missed just two games since he signed in Chicago in 2005. Pro Football Focus ranked him its 12th-best center in 2013, but he graded out at No. 6 in pass protection -- an important skill in coach Marc Trestman's offense.

Keeping continuity in front of Cutler was a priority for the Bears' offense after the team gave the quarterback a boatload of cash this offseason. After locking up Garza, Emery can focus all his efforts on remaking the defense through free agency and the draft.

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