Five-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Andre Gurode weighed different options, but he wanted to patiently wait for the right one.
"This is it," Gurode told the Sun-Times. "It's an absolute great opportunity to come into a great organization with so much history, and a team doing well, and be able to help out when they need it."
Gurode has 127 NFL starts, mostly with the Dallas Cowboys. But he had offseason surgery on his left knee in 2011 then visited several clubs before signing with the Baltimore Ravens.
He started five games for the Ravens, but he never felt right.
"I wasn't able to get healthy the way I wanted to," he said. "I wanted to be tip-top shape and erase any doubts."
He declined to say which teams he visited, but he spent training camp working out and getting his body "the way it should be."
Gurode, 33, is comfortable at guard or center.
"I am in shape, and definitely can help," he said. "I need to learn the offense and, given the right opportunity, a chance to complete."
The Bears didn't make any promises, but Gurode is excited to join a playoff caliber team.
Gurode is 6 foot 4, 318 pounds, and he was originally a second-round pick of the Cowboys. A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Gurode also was a two-time All-Pro. He's started at center and guard with distinction.