Roster Move: Bears land former Chargers TE on $12 million deal
Brad Rempel - USA Today Sports

Roster Move: Bears land former Chargers TE on $12 million deal

by - Senior Writer -

You have to give credit where credit is due, and Ryan Poles deserves a ton of credit for his job with this team so far. After spending a ton of money on the defensive side last offseason, the Bears knew that going into the 2024 offseason, that offense would be their focus and addressing other holes.

One of those holes was in the secondary, but after extending Jaylon Johnson and adding Kevin Byard, those holes have been filled. You then move to the offense, where every skill position needs to be addressed somehow. Adding D'Andre Swift addressed the Bears' need for another RB, but with a question at quarterback and more depth required at both the WR and TE room, the Bears' work is far from over this offseason.

Tuesday saw the Bears address another area of need as they found the backup TE to Cole Kmet with the addition of Gerald Everett. With Robert Tonyan and Mercedes Lewis both on the free agent market, the Bears needed to find a backup for Kmet, and Everett is their guy as he is coming to Chicago on a two-year 12 million dollar deal plus incentives.

Ideally, the Bears would've loved a blocking TE, but given the way the Shane Waldron offense works, Everett can do both. He is a good blocker and knows how to catch passes. One of the more athletic TEs on the market, Everett is known as a YAC guy and often makes plays when nothing is available.

His 28 broken tackles since 2022 rank near the top for all TEs, and that alone will bring a much-needed element to the Bears offense that they were lacking behind Kmet. At 29 years old, Everett still has plenty of years left in the tank, but he is getting close to having his best years behind him, so a short deal makes sense for him and the Bears.

While this may not be a flashy pickup, Everett is no slouch as he ranked 84 on the top 100 free agents list this offseason and gives the Bears two top 100 players over the past 48 hours. Everett is coming off a season where he hasn't used as much as he would've liked but was still productive enough to earn plenty of attention this offseason.

Last season, Everett played in the struggling Chargers offense, caught 51 passes, gained 411 receiving yards, and scored three touchdowns. Before that, in 2022, Everett set career highs in catches (58) and receiving yards (555) while tying his career high in touchdowns (4), so you can see why he was gaining the attention he was getting.

Looking back at his last four seasons, you will see that Everett is a model of consistency.

He has caught at least 40 passes for 400 yards each season while catching passes from Jared Goff and Justin Herbert. Granted, both of them are more accomplished quarterbacks than the Bears have now, but you have to think at least there is some production left for him to be a great secondary option for this team.

Adding a TE may not have been seen as a must-have, but at the very worst, you are adding a guy capable of giving you more combined production than Tonyan and Lewis. If Kmet were to go down with an extended injury, Everett could step into the starting role, and the offense likely wouldn't miss a beat.

Remember, none of these deals can become official until Thursday, but once that happens, the Bears will have arguably the best TE group in the NFC North and one of the best in the game. These are the types of moves you need to make if you want to compete in the NFL, and after seeing what the Packers have done, the Bears know they can't stop here.

With over $40 million left to spend, Danielle Hunter could be the final big fish this team is trying to land to finalize their defense. Should that happen, it would leave Poles roughly $15-20 million to add other pieces where you could see more pickups like this.

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