The Bears continued their flurry of free agency activity under first-year general manager Phil Emery on Wednesday, signing former Pro Bowl kick returner Eric Weems to a three-year contract.
Weems, 26, has averaged 25.7 yards per kickoff return over the last three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He made the Pro Bowl after the 2010 season, when he returned two kicks for touchdowns -- a 102-yard kickoff against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a 55-yard punt return against the Carolina Panthers. Weems also returned a kickoff 102 yards for a tie-breaking touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs that season.
Weems averaged 23.5 yards on 24 kickoff returns in 2011, with a long return of 37 yards. He averaged 9.8 yards on 32 punt returns, with a long return of 42 yards.
The move is likely protection against Johnny Knox's potentially prolonged recovery from a broken back he suffered against the Seahawks last Dec. 18.
Emery was the Falcons' director of college scouting when Weems was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Behtune-Cookman University in 2007.