In search and need of added CB depth the Bears today added former Falcons and Colts CB Kelvin Hayden to a veteran minimum one year contract. Hayden is a seven year veteran who is 28 years-old who has battled injuries the past few seasons.
Hayden appeared in only eight games last year with the Falcons and was at one time a top zone coverage corner in the NFL.
I was able to reach out to Brett Mock of Colts Authority to get this bit of information on Hayden:
Hayden is a solid zone coverage corner who has shown a tendency to be inconsistent. On a series or in one game he can make a big impact by creating turnovers, laying big hits (solid against the run), and shutting down his assignment. In the next series or game it may appear like his head isn’t really in it, that he doesn’t hustle to get in on every play or make every tackle, that he’d rather be conservative (which can get football players into trouble) than to be aggressive.
Add to his inconsistency that he has been dealing with injury issues, typically they have been minor but steady, for the last few years and the Colts let him go because they signed him to a contract that was too high for his impact. In short, if he’s healthy and if he’s playing right and feels comfortable in the scheme, he’s a solid corner. Not worth the contract the Colts gave him, but a solid corner.
The obvious key for Hayden will be to stay healthy and play as if his NFL career depended on it, which it essentially does. Hayden was also a top free agent target of the Bears before he signed an extension with the Colts for around 7 years and $49.5-million.
While this signing doesn’t eliminate the Bears’ need for CB depth it likely means the Bears won’t be focusing on a CB in the first round. The Bears typically like to build their secondary around solid veterans and then sprinkle in mid round prospects who get overlooked to play special teams and learn from the more experienced veterans. Those experienced veterans include Tillman, Jennings and Moore with Hayden providing experience as a fourth CB option.