The Bears‘ tight end production dropped last season after the departure of former first-round pick Greg Olsen.
Olsen fell out of favor in Mike Martz’s offense. Despite Martz being replaced by Mike Tice this offseason, Olsen would have likely demanded a contract with an annual salary of $6 million-plus.
He was a nice weapon for Cutler, but the Bears likely couldn’t afford him. Maybe it was a good idea to get something in return when they traded him to Carolina last offseason.
Kellen Davis led the team with five touchdowns. He also led all Bears tight ends with 206 yards. He proved to be a very dangerous red-zone threat.
Matt Spaeth was a solid blocker in his first season in the Windy City. He also added two receiving touchdowns.
Undrafted rookie Kyle Adams appeared in eight games, but suffered a season-ending hamstring injury on Nov. 9.
The Bears selected Evan Rodriguez in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft. He compares himself to Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. If he can play anything like Hernandez, that would be a big boost for the Bears.
Here are the career stats for each tight end on the Bears’ current roster.
Kellen Davis: 64 career games (20 starts), 28 receptions, 300 yards, nine touchdowns, 10.4 YPR
Matt Spaeth: 75 career games (47 starts), 43 receptions, 325 yards, seven touchdowns, 7.6 YPR
Kyle Adams: eight career games.
With Mike Tice running the offense, the tight end production will likely increase, but can Kellen Davis improve his game? He improved as a blocker last season—that was evident.
Will he be able to join the elite? That remains to be seen.
Spaeth will continue to be the Bears’ top blocking tight end. He will have certain plays designed for him in goal-line packages.
Rookie Evan Rodriguez will contribute at fullback, tight end and even wide receiver. He is the most athletic tight end they’ve had since Greg Olsen. Expect him to surprise some people around the league by season’s end.
The Bears were high on Kyle Adams a season ago, but he might not be able to stick with three tight ends ahead of him. It all depends on if the Bears view him as a valuable asset to the team.
The tight end group isn’t great, but the Bears are a running team and Davis and Spaeth are solid blockers. Tice will help boost the production with these tight ends.
Next Up: Offensive Line