Offensive lineman Manuel Ramirez has signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The eight-year veteran started just seven of 16 games for the Detroit Lions last season but thrived when in the lineup. Ramirez spent four years with the Denver Broncos and will reunite with head coach John Fox and offensive line coach Dave Magazu in Chicago.
Although he played sparingly for Detroit, Ramirez finished 2015 as the team's highest graded lineman and third-highest graded offensive player overall, per Pro Football Focus. He was really effective up the middle in pass protection, giving up only eight total pressures in 502 snaps. The 33-year-old has started 65 of 83 regular season games he's played in, but now would likely be considered a quality backup at this point in his career.
A versatile interior lineman, Ramirez has starting experience at both guard spots and center. He is a valuable swing player who can vocally lead an offensive line, make the necessary blocking calls and provide depth at other positions. Along with his strong pass-blocking skills, Ramirez is a proven run blocker with the ability to seal the inside lanes and consistently get to the second level.
His versatility creates an opportunity for Ramirez to compete with Hroniss Grasu for the starting center role in Chicago. Ramirez also brings valuable experience and depth to the guard position for the Bears.