Former Bears safety Brandon McGowan, who lingered in unrestricted free-agent limbo for more than two months, signed a two-year deal with the Patriots Tuesday morning, according to ESPN.com.
McGowan was an undrafted free agent from Maine who made the Bears roster in 2005 after a tryout like the one held last week at Halas Hall in conjunction with the rookie minicamp. Not only was McGowan undrafted, he was not even signed as a priority free agent and attended the rookie minicamp as a lowly tryout player. But he bucked long odds and started three games as a rookie.
His best season was 2007 when he started nine games, had 68 total tackles and intercepted 2 passes. He started the 2008 season opener at nickel back and played the next week vs. the Panthers but suffered an ankle injury that landed him on injured reserve and ended his season.
McGowan’s Bears career was defined by injuries. A knee injury in the regular-season finale in 2005 landed him on the injured reserve list, and he missed the playoff loss to the Panthers.
Still rehabbing the knee injury, he started the ’06 season on the physically-unable-to-perform list. In his first game back, in Week Nine, he suffered a season-ending ruptured Achilles tendon.