The Bears are not done adding to their secondary, signing former Cardinals cornerback Marcus Cooper to a three-year contract, the team announced Saturday.
Cooper, 27, played in 15 games with 13 starts for the Cardinals last season and had a career-high 69 tackles and four interceptions to go along with 11 passes defensed. He also returned an interception 60 yards for touchdown.
“I’m a taller guy, a longer guy. I got some ability to run you know. I think that’s allowed me to cover guys in a different fashion than some of the smaller guys around the league," Cooper said Saturday on a conference call. "Also I think I have pretty good vision when it comes to reading the quarterback and route recognition and things like that. So those things I felt like have allowed me to be successful and just being able to also do different things in terms of have vision or play the press-man technique.
"There’s a lot of things about the game that I like. I’m not perfect by any means and I’m still trying to perfect that craft every single day. I’m just looking forward to getting better and perfecting what I already consider myself good at.”
The 6-2, 192-pounder began his career as a seventh-round pick of the 49ers in 2013 before being claimed off waivers by the Chiefs. He played in every game with six starts as a rookie and had 18 passes defensed and three interceptions, but he was benched late in the season.
Cooper began his career with Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell in San Francisco. He called the Bears’ defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach “geniuses’ and said Donatell is one of the reasons he signed with Chicago.
“Ed’s one of my favorite coaches,” he said. “I’ve always had a high respect for him. I’ve always had a passion of working for him. He took me in, we started working together and trying to get better. He was a huge part in getting me in this organization.”
Cooper started only five games from 2014-15 and was traded to the Cardinals last September for a conditional seventh-round pick.
When asked about Cooper at the Combine, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said, “I’d like to get Coop back. It looks like Coop is going to get a helluva lot of money. Y’all keep saying Coop’s no good; he was a Pro Bowl alternate, had four interceptions. It looks like the price is going up pretty high for him, so we’ll wait and see.”
Cooper joins Prince Amukamara and Quintin Demps as the other veteran defensive backs the Bears have signed in the first 48 hours of free agency. They also reportedly hosted Darius Butler for a visit.