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Bears’ Wooton Prepared To Hit Free Agency

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(CBS) Bears defensive lineman and pending free agent Corey Wooton told the Chicago Sun-Times he’s prepared to hit the open market Saturday, when the negotiating window opens for free agents, who can then begin signing next Tuesday.

“I’m probably going to test the market and see what’s out there,’’ Wootton said, according to the Sun-Times. ‘‘I’m just really excited to see what’s going on. Obviously, I would like to stay with the Bears, but I don’t know how it’s looking. I guess we’ll have a better understanding when free agency happens.’’

Defensive line is an area of need for the Bears, but it remains to be seen how Wooton figures into their plans. Wooton is enthused by his improved health, as he said he’ll be 100 percent by July after having right hip surgery in January to correct nagging injuries.

The 26-year-old Wooton had 3 1/2 sacks in 2013, playing much of the season on the interior after the Bears encountered a string of injuries.

He’s confident he’ll draw serious interest, be it from Chicago or elsewhere.

‘‘Everyone is always asking me: ‘Are you nervous? Are you worried?’’ Wootton told the Sun-Times. ‘‘I’m not worried about that. I’m confident in myself that I put enough tape out there to showcase what I can do that someone is going to like what I do and someone is going to appreciate the player that I am.’’

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