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Bears sign LB Mason Foster, per source

PHOENIX — The Bears added their third veteran defender of a busy Tuesday, signing former Buccaneers inside linebacker Mason Foster to a one-year deal, a source confirmed.

A former third round pick out of the University of Washington, totaled six sacks and five interceptions in four years in Tampa Bay.

He’ll provide even more competition for the Bears’ 3-4 linebacking corps. General manager Ryan Pace said Tuesday the Bears could keep as many as nine linebackers on their roster; last year’s 3-4 team kept six.

“Yeah, eight to nine guys,” Pace said. “You need a lot of bodies there.”

The Bears signed defensive ends Ray McDonald and Jarvis Jenkins to one-year deals earlier Tuesday. Pace said at the NFL Annual Meeting that he likes the motivation that “prove-it” deals give players.