The Chicago Bears worked out a group of free agent tight ends last weekend and decided to sign one of them today in Tony Moeaki, who has played tight end for the Chiefs, Bills, Seahawks, and Falcons since being drafted in the third round of the 2010 draft.
Moeaki’s career got off to a good start with the Chiefs with 47 catches for 556 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie. He missed his 2nd season with injuries, but bounced back in 2012 with another productive season (33, 453, 1). Unfortunately, Moeaki got hurt again the next year and was released with an injury settlement in 2013.
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He’s bounced between three teams over the last three seasons with just eight catches and one touchdown to show for it. Coming out of college Moeaki had 4.69 speed, soft hands, the ability to find holes in zone defenses, and was a red zone weapon, but who knows what the 29-year-old tight end has left after a career plagued with injuries.
The Bears also tried out veteran TE Ryan Taylor, formerly of the Packers, and rookie WR/TE Terenn Houk from BYU, but decided to go with Moeaki who has both the most experience and NFL success of the three.
I don’t expect much from Moeaki, but the Bears definitely could use some depth at the tight end position. Both their projected starter, Zach Miller, and primary back-up Rob Housler have been injured more often than they have been healthy so far in their careers. The rest of the Bears depth at tight end: Khari Lee, Ben Braunecker, Gannon Sinclair, and former DE Greg Scruggs have little to no experience playing tight end at the NFL level.
If Moeaki is healthy, he at least gives the Bears a proven veteran at the position who can block, has reliable hands, and has proven he can compete at the NFL level. Ideally, both Miller and Housler stay healthy and a couple of the young TEs like Braunecker and Lee develop, but if not at least the Bears have more depth now in Moeaki.