Packers claim former Bears DT Ego Ferguson

Tom Silverstein
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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GREEN BAY - The Chicago Bears may have given up on defensive lineman Ego Ferguson, but the Green Bay Packers are willing to give him a chance.

Two days after the Bears cut Ferguson, the Packers claimed him on waivers, according to the NFL transaction wire.

The Packers will assume Ferguson's $980,981 base salary for the 2017 season. The fourth-year pro is in the final year of his rookie contract. The Packers are not obligated to pay him unless he makes the 53-man roster in September.

The 6-foot-3, 315-pound Ferguson played in just 20 games with one start in three seasons with the Bears. He hasn't played in a game since Week 4 of the 2015 season, missing all of 2016 with knee and shoulder injuries.

A second-round pick (51st overall) in 2014, Ferguson had 23 tackles and two sacks in 16 games his rookie season. The next year, however, he was active for just four games and had three tackles.

Ferguson was put on injured reserve after four games in 2015 and in November of that year was suspended for four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. He served the suspension while on injured reserve.

The Packers probably claimed Ferguson just to get a look at him and see if he can help this coming season. With hybrid players Julius Peppers and Datone Jones leaving in free agency and nose tackle Letroy Guion suspended for the first four games, the Packers are not deep on the defensive line.

They did sign end Ricky Jean Francois after Washington released him, but he isn't expected to be a starter. Their top three defensive linemen are Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry.

Coming out of LSU in '14, Ferguson ran the 40-yard dash in 5.1 seconds, bench-pressed 225 pounds 24 times and a vertical jump of 29½ inches.

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