In the weeks leading up to free agency, some around the NFL felt the Green Bay Packers might make a run at Danny Trevathan.
When push came to shove, however, general manager Ted Thompson passed on the 25-year-old inside linebacker, who agreed to a four-year contract with the Chicago Bears on Wednesday. The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs reported that the deal is worth $24.5 million with $12 million guaranteed.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy hasn’t been shy about his preference for Clay Matthews to move back to outside rusher this offseason. If the Packers follow through with that plan, they could be left thin at inside linebacker with Jake Ryan, Nate Palmer and Joe Thomas, plus Sam Barrington, who is returning from foot surgery.
On Thursday, Trevathan was asked by Packers free-agent receiver James Jones during an appearance on NFL Network whether Green Bay had inquired about Trevathan’s services.
“No they didn’t, man,” said Trevathan, who was a teammate of Packers receiver Randall Cobb at Kentucky. “I wish they would have, but they didn’t. My guy Randall Cobb is over there. They didn’t so I’m here in Chicago with (coach John) Fox.”
One reason why Trevathan probably wishes the Packers would have been more involved: It likely would have pushed his price up. Regardless, the Packers will have to contest with the 6-foot-1, 240-pound linebacker twice a year in the heart of Vic Fangio’s 3-4 defense.
The decision to sign with Chicago reunited Trevathan with Fox, for whom he played for during his first three NFL seasons in Denver.
“It was a big factor, man,” said Trevathan, who had 109 tackles with two interceptions in 15 starts last season. “Just having one of the coaches who coached me when I first got into the league and help me develop as a great player. … To have the opportunity to play for him with another organization … it’s a blessing and I’m looking forward to it.”
So are the Bears.