Roster Move: Bears re-sign receiver Dante Pettis
Jerome Miron - USA Today Sports

Roster Move: Bears re-sign receiver Dante Pettis

by - Senior Writer -

Now that the Bears have added Keenan Allen via the trade market to address one of their roster holes, Ryan Poles can continue to focus on the rest of his offseason plans to round out his roster. That includes finding as many depth pieces as possible to make this year's team as deep as possible.

Part of doing that is finding players to play positions that aren't talked about much anymore. Friday saw the Bears add yet another depth piece to their lineup, as an old friend in Dante Pettis is returning to Chicago on a one-year contract. The 28-year-old Pettis has bounced around the NFL most of his career, including the 2022 season with the Bears.

That alone makes him familiar with Poles and Matt Eberflus, which could be one of the reasons they added him to the team. During his time in Chicago, Pettis was busy, playing in all 17 games, making seven starts. Although he wasn't targeted a lot, he did come away with 19 receptions for 245 yards and three scores, including Justin Fields' first TD of the season on what looked to be a broken play.

Pettis also contributed in the rushing game, gaining 37 yards on two carries and averaging better than nine yards per punt return. Prior to joining the Bears, Pettis played in 33 games, 12 of which were starts, and has racked up 52 passes for 739 yards and nine touchdowns. Again, this is not a flashy move, but more so a depth pickup for Poles, who continues to transform this roster into what he wants it to look like.

The San Francisco 49ers selected the 6-1 Pettis in the second round after an outstanding collegiate career with the Washington Huskies. As a member of Washington, Pettis set an NCAA record with nine career punt return touchdowns and was the Devin Hester of this generation at the collegiate level.

During his time with the 49ers, Pettis played in 28 games with 12 starts over three seasons, recording 38 receptions for 576 yards and seven touchdowns. He then went on to get claimed by the Giants, where he appeared in two games in 2020 and three contests in 2021 for New York, all as a reserve, catching 14 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

His father, Gary Pettis, is in his 30th season as a Major League Baseball coach and 10th with the Houston Astros after an 11-year MLB playing career as an outfielder from 1982-92. Gary served as a Chicago White Sox coach from 1997-2002 and won a World Series championship ring with the Astros in 2017 and 2022.

Expected to compete for one of the final roster spots on this team, Pettis is being brought in to help also on the Bears punt returner. Velus Jones was expected to be that guy from the day he was drafted, but given his struggles holding on to the ball and limited time on the field, the Bears feel like it is time to go in a different direction, and Pettis could be it.

To make it in this league, you need skill just as much as connections. Pettis has the connections with this organization as he has spent time working with this regime. Although his first tenure didn't go as planned, this one may be as he is getting a second chance to show what he can do for the Bears.

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