Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix agreed to a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears to end his nine-game tenure with the Washington Redskins. A person familiar with the negotiations said the deal will pay Clinton-Dix about $3.5 million. The deal was first reported by NFL Network.
The Redskins traded a fourth-round pick for the one-time Pro Bowl selection, and he started all nine games after joining the organization. Clinton-Dix was a topic of conversation at Redskins Park on Thursday as recently signed safety Landon Collins was being officially introduced. Collins had said the two, teammates at Alabama, had talked earlier in the day, but that was before the signing was announced.
“We’ve got to keep working, go forward,” said Doug Williams, senior vice president of player personnel. “You can’t put on brakes. You’ve still got to go find players. You want a starter [at safety]. You want a starter even if you have to rotate him.”
Another of the Redskins’ free agents found a new team Thursday. Wide receiver Maurice Harris agreed to terms with the New England Patriots, according to NFL Network. Harris recorded career highs last season with 28 catches and 304 receiving yards.
Clinton-Dix has started every game since early in his rookie season. The 2016 season was his Pro Bowl year, with 79 tackles and a career-high five interceptions. He has received criticism about his physicality, but he has never recorded fewer than 79 tackles in a season and has twice reached the 100-tackle plateau.
The Green Bay Packers made the decision that they wouldn’t re-sign Clinton-Dix after this season and tried to get what they could for him before the trade deadline. The Redskins gave up a fourth-round pick as they tried to add even more juice to a defense that was playing like one of the best in the league at the time.
That was before the team started falling apart because of injuries, and Clinton-Dix struggled during his Washington tenure.
Clinton-Dix seemed to have a decent chance to return to the Redskins, who cut D.J. Swearinger Sr. before the season finale and placed Montae Nicholson on the non-football illness list following his arrest on an assault charge. The team needs to add a starter to play alongside Collins and join a safety rotation that Williams said also would include Nicholson and 2018 fourth-round pick Troy Apke this season. But Clinton-Dix ultimately decided to go with the Bears.
Mark Maske contributed to this report.