BEARS SIGN 2 PLAYERS, CUT BUSH: The Bears on Monday agreed to terms with defensive tackle Nate Collins and quarterback Jordan Palmer on one-year contracts and released seven-year veteran running back Michael Bush.
Collins has appeared in 27 games with two starts over four seasons with Jacksonville (2010-11) and Chicago (2012-13), recording 34 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two pass break ups and a fumble recovery.
In 2013, Collins appeared in five games for the Bears with two starts, recording a career-high 13 tackles, one sack and three quarterback hits before being placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury.
The 6-foot-2, 296-pound Collins entered the NFL with the New York Giants in 2010 as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Virginia.
Palmer signed with the Bears in 2013 and spent the last nine weeks on the team’s active roster but did not appear in a regular season game. He also appeared in two preseason games for the Bears last season, completing 12 of 18 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown for a 103.0 passer rating.
For his career, Palmer has appeared in four regular season contests for Cincinnati during three seasons (2008-10) with the Bengals, completing 10-of-15 passing attempts for 49 yards and two interceptions.
Chicago will save $2.85 million with the move, clearing $1.85 million in 2014 salary cap space by releasing Bush. Mostly a backup in his career, Bush started 20 of 89 games in seven seasons with Oakland (2007-11) and Chicago (2012-13), rushing for 3,250 yards with 29 touchdowns. He added 1,010 yards receiving and two touchdowns on 104 receptions.
As a second-stringer behind Matt Forte with the Bears, Bush had 177 rushing attempts for 608 yards and eight touchdowns. He added 13 receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown in 28 games, one of them a start.
VU GETS POSTSEASON BID: The season will continue for the Valparaiso men’s basketball team.
The Crusaders accepted an invitation to the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament on Monday afternoon and will host a game at the Athletics-Recreation Center either Tuesday or Wednesday next week.
“We’re really excited for this opportunity,” Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew said. “The more time we can have together the better. This gives us extra practice time and gives us a chance to win some more games. This gives us a chance to keep getting better.”
Valparaiso hosted a CIT game in 2010-11, falling to Iona 85-77 in Brandon Wood’s final game with the Crusaders. While Valparaiso was a veteran team that season, Drew is excited to play in the CIT this year in order to get some postseason experience for his younger players.
“We looked at some teams that have played in this and we saw that younger teams have benefited greatly from the experience,” Drew said. “We’re all pretty excited to keep playing.”
VU'S SCHORSCH HONORED AGAIN: Valparaiso freshman tennis player Jeffrey Schorsch was named the Horizon League Player of the Week for the second time Monday, one day after tying the school record for singles victories in a season (20).
Schorsch extended his singles winning streak to nine with three wins at the No. 1 spot over the weekend. He also teamed with Charlie Emhardt to go 3-0 at No. 2 doubles.
Schorsch also earned the honor Feb. 24.
REGIONAL TICKETS ON SALE AT LAPORTE: Tickets for Saturday's Class 4A Michigan City Regional are on sale at the LaPorte High School athletic office, beginning from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today. Tickets are $10. LaPorte meets Lake Central at 10 a.m.
E.C. CENTRAL FOOTBALL SENDS 16 TO COLLEGE RANKS: E.C. Central announced Monday that 16 players from the team that finished 11-3 this season have signed to play football at eight different schools.
Eight players will join the roster at Dakota Junior College, with defensive linemen Rayshun Williams and Brion Person joining offensive linemen Tymetreis Fields and Denzel Thruston. Skill position players at Dakota JC include Juan Sepulveda (FB/LB), Carlos Fernandez (QB) and defensive backs Jason Stewart and Markee Phillips.
Martayveus Carter signed with Northern Illinois.
Lineman Christian Guerrero will play at Kilgore JC in Texas as Ricky Readus (DE) and Deontae Rush (WR/DB) head to Siena Heights. Anthony Hunt (RB) and Patrick Shaw (LB) will play at Marian College. TreQuan Burnett will make the longest trek with a roster spot at Butte (Calif.) Junior College. Keon Brown will play at Indiana University as a walk on.
Around the horn