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More Fuel Added to the Safety Fire

Bears sign Packers safety for two years to make for a highly competitive situation at the position.

The Bears added to what looks like a spirited safety competition by signing Packers free agent safety Jonathan Owens for two years, according to NFL Network.

Owens, the husband of Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, started 11 of the Packers' 17 games last year after coming there as a free agent from Houston in free agency during 2023. 

Cash for the deal is $4.5 million total according to a league source.

Though he did start in Houston and Green Bay, Owens also is regarded as a vital special teams player. He played 233 special teams plays last year, or 54% of the special teams plays when he was available. He also was second on the Packers in special teams tackles with seven solos The and four assists.

The Bears released Eddie Jackson and signed Kevin Byard, the former Eagles and Titans safety, prior to the start of free agency. They also signed former 49ers safety Tarvarius Moore prior to the start of free agency.

Owens, Byard and Moore join returning reserve safeties Elijah Hicks and Quindell Johnson in a battle for roster spots and one starting spot alongside starter Jaquan Brisker.

With Houston, Owens played in only one game as an undrafted free agent rookie from Missouri Western State in 2019, then six in 2020, all as a reserve. He started two games for the Texans and played in seven in 2021 before becoming a full-time starter in 2022. Owens has one career interception and eight pass defenses.

Owens gave up three touchdown passes each of the last two seasons per Sportradar.

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