Plot thickens at cornerback after Bears sign Marcus Cooper

Marcus Cooper had 69 tackles and four interceptions for the Cardinals last season. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears continue to work on the cornerback position, signing former Arizona Cardinal Marcus Cooper on Saturday.

Cooper, 27, had a breakout year in 2016, setting career-highs in games played (15), games started (13), tackles (69) and interceptions (four).

Terms: Three years.

ESPN 150 Ranking: 98

Grade: Likely in the B range. Cooper has excellent size (6-foot-2, 192 pounds) for the 3-4 defense. Coordinator Vic Fangio wants cornerbacks with long arms who can disrupt routes in the first 5 yards. Cooper has a limited body of work as a full-time starter, but he has some of those traits. The Bears clearly liked Cooper when he visited Halas Hall on Friday.

What it means: Chicago is intent on fixing the cornerback positon. The Bears already gave veteran Prince Amukamara $7 million guaranteed to be one of their starters in 2017. The picture at cornerback is crowded -- the Bears also re-signed Johnthan Banks to a one-year deal on Saturday. Where does it leave veteran Tracy Porter? Porter was the secondary's lone playmaker last year, but he's fought through injuries. Former first-round pick Kyle Fuller is still on the roster after missing all of last season because of a routine knee scope. And the draft is heavy on cornerbacks. Either way, the Bears' secondary will look much different in the fall. They'll probably also add another safety after signing veteran Quintin Demps in the opening hours of free agency.

What's the risk: Well, there's always risk when a player has only had one big year. Cooper did have three picks as a rookie in 2013 for the Kansas City Chiefs, but he didn't do much the next two seasons. The fact Arizona let him go is sort of telling. Cornerbacks are at such a premium in the NFL that if a team really likes you, they almost never let you get away.