The tight end position was a disaster for the Chicago Bears this past year. They need to do something to retool it and get it working again. But what can they do?
The current crop of tight ends that the Bears have, which consists of Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker, J.P. Holtz, Jesper Horsted, Bradley Sowell, Dax Raymond, Eric Saubert and Trey Burton is not going to cut it. The Bears need much more at the position. Injury and ineffective play have taken their toll at tight end so it’s time that the Bears did something to get it right.
First, they need to clean house and get rid of some of the lesser talent that has been holding them down at the position. This means that practically everyone could get the pink slip except for Burton who would leave them with some cap problems should they cut him. I would expect some of the younger guys to stick around and compete as well, guys like Holtz and Horsted but players like Braunecker and Shaheen have probably worn out their welcome and will be let go at some point.
There are obviously two ways that the Bears can go about fixing this issue. First, they can look to the draft to try to get a player or possibly two at the tight end position that can start. Another way they could go is to look at free agency and try to find a tight end that makes sense there. What options are out there?
First, with free-agent tight ends, there are a few that could catch the Bears eye and be a possibility to join the Bears. Eric Ebron, a free agent tight end from the Indianapolis Colts is someone that is getting mentioned as being a possibility for the Bears. He would be a welcome addition to the Bears stagnant tight end group. Another free agent that might interest the Bears is Atlanta’s Austin Hooper. Hooper could make an impact on the Bears right away.
When it comes to the draft, there are some decent prospects out there as well. The Bears would probably be looking to draft someone in the second or third round. Perhaps they could add some depth in later rounds. A few of the college tight ends that the Bears might be interested in include Matt Bushman out of BYU, Brycen Hopkins out of Purdue and Sean McKeon out of Michigan. Any one of these guys, or a host of other guys, could provide some depth. Perhaps they could even have the ability to start.
This would give the Bears back their tight end position and things just might get better.
Although it gets downplayed a lot, the tight end position is an important one on an NFL offense. They can be used as receivers to help move the ball down the field. An ideal NFL tight end is George Kittle. He’s a threat to catch the ball and do something with it after he catches it. Travis Kelce is another player at the tight end position that shines. They also need to be able to block when needed and be good at it.
The Bears need players like Kittle and Kelce. They haven’t had a dynamic tight end for quite some time.
Getting the tight end position fixed and ready for 2020 should be one of the Bears’ top priorities this offseason. If they can find the right pieces to get their passing game going, then things should be better on offense.