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Report: Shea McClellin signing with Patriots

Shea McClellin played four years with the Bears. (AP)

Former Bears linebacker Shea McClellin will sign a three-year deal with the Patriots, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported late Wednesday.

He had visited the Seahawks on Tuesday, and seemed out of the Bears’ plans after they signed Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman to free-agent contracts to play inside linebacker.

A first-round pick in 2012, McClellin started his career as a defensive end before being moved to outside linebacker in the Bears’ 4-3 defense. He was moved to inside linebacker in Vic Fangio’s 3-4 scheme last year, finishing with 53 tackles, one forced fumble and rone recovered fumble.

Still, he finished his Bears career with only 7 1/2 sacks.

“You know, we like Shea,” GM Ryan Pace said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We feel like his arrow is till pointing up, especially at the inside linebacker position.

“I thought our defensive coaches did a great job with him.”

After the Bears’ season finale, McClellin admitted that it had been a “tough four years moving around positions,” but said he wanted to return if the Bears were interested.

“I’d love to be back if they want me,” he said. “If not, I’ll move on.”

McClellin becomes the third former Bears player the Patriots have acquired in the last six months or so. They traded for linebacker Jon Bostic in late September and then for tight end Martellus Bennett earlier Wednesday night.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com