- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Charles Grant called his two-game stint in the UFL a humbling experience.
Given a another chance to resume his NFL career after the Chicago Bears signed him on Tuesday, Grant plans to make the most of it, saying a trip to the Pro Bowl is all that remains on his football bucket list.
"As an old guy, everything I wanted from the National Football League, I've been able to acquire through this league," the defensive end said on Wednesday. "You know, being able to take care of my family, Super Bowl ring, meeting great guys. The only thing I haven't gotten out of the league is a Pro Bowl, and I think it's my time to do that.
"You've got a guy like Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher, all those guys on the defense that's humming. For a guy like me, all the pressure is not on me. The pressure is on me just to make plays and play good in the scheme. At the end of the day, you just come out here with a group of guys like this [who] want to win football games game in and game out. That's what you like."
After signing his contract, Grant spent most of Tuesday with the coaching staff learning the intricacies of the Bears' defensive scheme. It's unclear what role he'll play in the short term. But chances are good Grant could see some playing time Sunday at Carolina.
Grant, 32, won't be expected to play a copious amount of snaps. Because of his pass-rushing prowess and mediocrity against the run, Grant likely fits more as a rotational player who can contribute approximately 20 to 25 snaps per game.
"That's on the coaching staff," said Grant when asked about his potential contribution. "But the coaches have done an outstanding job. We're up to pace pretty much. So we'll see and wait what that does."
A fresh start with the Bears could be just what Grant needs after all he's endured since 2002, when the Saints drafted him in the first round. Grant was set to be suspended for testing positive for a diuretic in 2008, but the NFL delayed the suspension pending the outcome of litigation filed by fellow players testing positive for the same substance.
In addition, Grant faces potential discipline from the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy, according to a league spokesman. Grant was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter stemming from a February 2008 incident at a bar in which a pregnant woman was shot to death. Grant pleaded no contest in May to affray, which is fighting between two or more persons in a public place that disturbs others. Grant received a $1,000 fine and was ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution to the Early County (Ga.) Sherrif's Office.
The league spokesman said the NFL is reviewing Grant's plea under the personal conduct policy. It's a situation the defensive end says he's learned from, and adds to his appreciation for the latest opportunity.
Grant played in 118 career games for the Saints, posting 505 tackles and 47 sacks before the club released him in March. Grant then joined the Dolphins, but was cut after a solid preseason. The defensive end subsequently signed with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL, and played in two games before signing with the Bears.
"I wasn't surprised [the Bears signed me]," Grant said. "I was just waiting for the next opportunity. It makes you appreciate a lot because the world is so negative. People look for negative stuff all the time, and I learned that. The last two years of my life have been probably the roughest, but I've been able to balance them. So for me, I'm just enjoying life now and thanking God for everything he's given me."
Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com.
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