Bears add cornerback Hood

Updated: September 1, 2009, 2:44 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Beset by injuries at the cornerback position, the Chicago Bears are adding veteran corner Rod Hood to their roster.

Hood, released by the Cleveland Browns on Monday evening, agreed to a one-year deal with Chicago.

The Bears have at least three cornerbacks currently nursing injuries: Charles Tillman (still recovering from off-season back surgery), Danieal Manning (hamstring), and Zack Bowman (hamstring). In addition, Nathan Vasher is coming off two consecutive seasons when injuries slowed his progress.

Signed by the Browns as a free agent in late May, Hood was expected to vie for plenty of playing time in Cleveland, and perhaps to contend for a starting job. Somewhat surprisingly, he was released by an NFL club for the second time in about four months.

Hood, 27, was a starter for the Arizona Cardinals the past two seasons, but was released in late April. The Cardinals signed free agent Bryant McFadden from Pittsburgh this spring, and he is expected to start at Hood's former spot. Hood was scheduled to earn a base salary of $3 million with Arizona in 2009, the third season of a five-year, $15 million contract that he signed as a free agent in 2007.

The six-year veteran was also sought by Cincinnati, Detroit and St. Louis this spring before eventually signing with the Browns.

A one-time standout nickel defender, Hood is a physical cornerback who has developed into a starting-caliber player.

Hood started 30 of the 31 games he played for the Cardinals the past two seasons. He spent the first four years of his career with the Eagles (2003-2006) as a No. 3 cornerback, before signing with Arizona as a free agent in 2007.

The former Auburn star entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2003. He has played in 87 games, with 43 starts. He had never started more than six games in a season before joining the Cardinals, but quickly moved into the lineup.

For his career, Hood has 218 tackles, one sack, 11 interceptions, 58 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and five recoveries. In 2007, with Arizona, he had six interceptions and 21 passes defensed, both career highs.

The Bears also released receiver Derek Kinder, a seventh-round draft pick out of Pittsburgh, on Tuesday.

Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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