Former Bears linebacker Shea McClellin signs with the Patriots: Report

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Former Bears linebacker Shea McClellin.

LAKE FOREST – Gillette Stadium has a little bit more of a Chicago feel after Wednesday.

Following the reported trade of Martellus Bennett to the Patriots earlier in the day, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported later at night that former Bears linebacker Shea McClellin has inked a three-year deal with New England.

This ends a sometimes tumultuous four years for McClellin with the Bears after being taken 19th overall by general manager Phil Emery in the 2012 NFL Draft. As a defensive end, he failed to live up to his high drafting registering just seven-and-a-half sacks in his first three seasons.

Under new head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, McClellin was switched to the inside linebacker position for the 2015 season. He registered 81 tackles and forced a fumble against the Rams in November but failed to generate enough big plays to make himself a permanent solution at the position.

Early in free agency the Bears appeared to be well on the way to replacing McClellin as they signed linebackers Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman. The latter figured to be McClellin’s replacement since he played middle linebacker with the Colts the last four seasons.