Chris Conte is no longer a Bear.
Thursday, he agreed to go where, it seems, former Bears go — to Tampa, to play for former Bears coach Lovie Smith. Conte, the much-maligned safety, and Henry Melton, the former Bears defensive tackle who played with the Cowboys last season, both signed with the Buccaneers.
Conte will reunite with Major Wright, who he started alongside in Chicago in 2013. Wright signed with the Bears last offseason.
Former Bears cornerbacks Isaiah Frey and C.J. Wilson are on the roster. Safety M.D. Jennings, who spent last training camp with the Bears, is on the Bucs. And, of course, Josh McCown spent one season in Tampa before being released.
Making it official...— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) March 12, 2015
RT to welcome Henry and Chris to Tampa Bay! #FireTheCannons pic.twitter.com/sjLrAIY8Ns
The Bears moved to replace Conte on Wednesday night when they signed safety Antrel Rolle to a three-year deal.
Conte drew the ire of Bears fans when he played the wrong coverage on the Packers’ touchdown with less than a minute left during Week 17 of the 2013 season. Aaron Rodgers’ 48-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb cost the Bears a playoff berth.
He was visibly warn down by the negative attention he garnered during the offseason following the Packers touchdown.
Conte struggled with injuries last season, playing only 12 games but recording three interceptions.
Melton had five sacks for the Cowboys last season while playing under former Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.