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Bears sign JJC product Hayden

Published: Thursday, April 5, 2012 10:40 p.m. CDT

(MCT) — A couple of years ago, Kelvin Hayden would have been the Bears' No. 1 free-agent target had he not re-signed with the Colts. But the Chicago native eventually found his way home.

The Bears agreed to terms Thursday with Hayden and fellow cornerback Jonathan Wilhite on one-year contracts. Financial terms were not immediately available.

Hayden and Wilhite bring depth at cornerback behind projected starters Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings. The Bears lost cornerback Zack Bowman to the Vikings, although Bowman didn't appear to be in the team's plans.

Hayden and Jennings were teammates with the Colts.

"I'm definitely happy about it," Jennings said about reuniting with Hayden. "It will really help our depth at corner. It's a great move and one we needed. Kelvin enjoys being around the game. We both enjoy the game and having fun out there."

The 6-foot, 195-pound Hayden was a second-round pick (60th overall) out of Illinois in 2005. He has appeared in 85 games with 47 starts over seven seasons with the Colts (2005-10) and Falcons (2011), collecting 312 tackles, 11 interceptions, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries — including one returned for a touchdown — and 25 special teams tackles.

The Chicago Hubbard High School and Joliet Junior College alumnus also has three interceptions in 10 postseason games, including a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLI against the Bears.

Wilhite, a fourth-round pick by the Patriots out of Auburn in 2008, has 15 career starts with the Patriots and Broncos. He has 121 tackles and four interceptions.

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