The Chicago Bears made a pair of roster moves in the secondary that involve former New England Patriots practice squad players in 28-year-old defensive back Derrick Martin and second-year Wake Forest Demon Deacons product Cyhl Quarles. The Bears decided to sign Martin after working him out with other veteran DBs (not a surprise that they chose Martin over the likes of Roderick Hood), while they also released Quarles, who the Bears signed in late January. Quarles wasn’t expected to make the Bears 53-man roster by any means, but they hard-hitting strong safety did have a chance at cracking the practice squad, which is where he briefly was last season with the Patriots.
Martin is a 5’10”, 198 pound Wyoming product who has made his living in this league as a special teams player, and that was his role with the Patriots. If he is able to make the Bears 53-man roster, then that will be his role in Chicago. Martin recorded five tackles in five games last season for the Patriots, and the interesting thing about his stat sheet is that he also had a four-yard sack. His best season came in 2007 with Baltimore Ravens, as it was the only year in which Martin played in all 16 games, and he had 40 tackles, two interceptions, and seven passes defended in a good season with the Ravens. Martin also played for some time with the Green Bay Packers and netted 14 games and 12 tackles with the New York Giants in 2011.
What is interesting about Martin is the fact that he has won two Super Bowl rings in his career, as he has had good luck on his side. He won a ring in 2010 with the Packers and a year later in 2011 with the Giants, and he had nine tackles and a pick in limited time with the Pack (he did have 25 tackles in 14 games with Green Bay the year before).
Cyhl Quarles starred at Wake Forest in college and was a highlight-reel player as one of the hardest hitters in college football. A top safety in the box as an SS, Quarles’s coverage skills left a lot to be desired and were awful. That has stopped him from cutting the mustard on an NFL squad, but he is worth a ticket on the practice squad due to his terrific leadership and intangibles, as well as his run defense and hitting.