Former Denver Broncos inside linebacker Danny Trevathan was one of several free agents from the defending Super Bowl team and its monster defense to depart for greener pastures Wednesday - "greener" as in, "getting more money."
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Trevathan landed a four-year deal with the Chicago Bears worth $24.5 million with $12 million guaranteed. That will reunite Trevathan with former Broncos coach John Fox, where the former 2012 sixth-round draft pick will be expected to start for Chicago.
The Broncos will look to replace Trevathan with a number of backup players including Todd Davis and Corey Nelson, while Brandon Marshall will man the other side. Neither Davis nor Nelson were three-down linebackers for Denver in 2016, so the challenge is theirs to compete for that role or accept accept partial responsibility.
Trevathan was one of the most productive "lion-backers" for the Broncos in 2015, with 109 total tackles, 73 of them solo. He also logged two interceptions, including his pick six against San Diego in Week 13.
The inside linebacker spent most of 2014 on the sidelines with three different injuries, but his production from 2013 was a strong indication of his future in the league.
The Ohio native led the Broncos in tackles in 2013 with 124 solo takedowns. The next best tackler that year had Duke Ihenacho at 77. Trevathan also had two sacks, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 10 passes knocked down.
Last offseason Trevathan told Mile High Report he was ready for a big year - and he wasn't kidding.
"Man, I am READY!" said the 6-foot-1, 240-pound inside linebacker who was sidelined most of last season with injuries. "I'm going to play with emotion, I'm going to play smart, I'm going full speed. Everyone is going to have to bring their best game."
He was serious and made good on that promise, as Trevathan was a crucial part of the Super Bowl-winning defense that pressured Cam Newton 21 times on 48 drop backs, sacked him six times, intercepted him once and recovered two forced fumbles. Those recovered fumbles, which saved the Broncos from potential Panthers' scores, were thanks to Danny T as No. 59 also led the Broncos in tackles that game with four solo, eight total.