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One less FA DE to choose from


Seasoned Veteran
Mar 10, 2002
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Naples, Fla.
I don't even know if the fins had any interest in this guy, but, there is now one less pass rusher available in free agency.

Bears sign veteran pass rusher
By Larry Mayer
Senior writer
May 29, 2002
LAKE FOREST, Ill. - The Bears bolstered their pass rush and added depth to their defense Wednesday night by signing veteran defensive end Keith McKenzie to a two-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.

McKenzie, a six-year NFL veteran, started six of seven games for the Cleveland Browns in 2001 before suffering a season-ending injury to his left ankle in a 27-21 overtime loss to the Bears on Nov. 4 at Soldier Field.

Prior to the injury, McKenzie compiled 15 tackles including a two-sack performance in a 24-14 victory over Baltimore. The 6-3, 273-pounder was tied for second on his team with three sacks when he was placed on injured reserve.

McKenzie, 28, played his first four NFL seasons in Green Bay after the Packers selected him in the seventh round of the 1996 draft. He posted back-to-back eight-sack seasons in his final two years in Green Bay before signing with Cleveland as an unrestricted free agent in 2000.

In his first year with the Browns, McKenzie recorded a career-high 61 tackles and had eight sacks for the third consecutive season.

McKenzie returned his only career interception 33 yards for a touchdown against quarterback Steve Stenstrom in a 16-13 win over the Bears on Dec. 27, 1998 at Soldier Field. Earlier that season, McKenzie set a record for the longest fumble return in Packers history when he dashed 88 yards for his first career score at Pittsburgh.

In training camp, McKenzie will compete as a third down pass-rush specialist with veteran Rosevelt Colvin, second-year player Karon Riley and rookie fourth-round pick Alex Brown.

McKenzie is the third free agent with starting experience the Bears have signed this offseason that's projected as a backup. The others are quarterback Chris Chandler (Falcons) and linebacker Mike Caldwell (Eagles).
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