The Chicago Bears have been linked to two different free agent TEs this first day of free agency.
Dion Sims, formerly of the Miami Dolphins, has been linked to the Chicago Bears. According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Bears are working out the contract kinks.
Sims is Miami’s best blocking tight end
After sitting behind Charles Clay for two years, and Jordan Cameron for one year, Dion Sims had a breakout year for the Dolphins last year. He had eleven starts, was targeted 35 times, and had 26 receptions for 256 yards and 4 TDs. Sims also compiled 9.8YPC and a 74.3% catch percentage.
If the Bears strike a deal with Sims, he would be a very similar TE to incumbent Zach Miller. Much like Sims, there is an injury history with Miller. The stats are very similar as well. Miller had 4 TDs for just over 10 yards per reception, and just under a 74% catch percentage.
The Bears also appear to be interested in Jared Cook.
Considering Cook just landed in Green Bay last year, a move to the Bears could prove interesting for rivalry purposes. Lost among the numerous passing game options, Cook didn’t get to stand out much. While splitting time with Richard Rodgers, he was able to amass 30 catches on 51 targets for 377 yards and 1 TD. Low totals on the Green Bay offense are understandable, but Cook’s 58.8% catch percentage is the lowest on the team for any consistent target. That should be troubling for a variety of reasons, most notably considering Aaron Rodgers’ well-known accuracy.
The Bears need support for Zach Miller
Considering one of the first four Google suggestions when searching Zach Miller’s name is “Zach Miller injury,” it’s clear the Bears need to focus on the TE position. Miller has missed time in three different seasons because of foot injuries. He also had a concussion last year. He simply can’t be counted on for an entire season.
Furthermore, the Bears are now post-Cutler, and really need to learn from their previous mistake of signing a QB only to leave significant holes on the offense. Whoever the starter is in 2017, he will need a steady offensive line and a sure-handed TE to locate when under duress.
If finding a security blanket is a consideration, then Sims appears to be a better option. If learning the secrets of the Packers’ organization is of interest, then Cook has an edge.
Regardless of the addition, the Bears will probably still address the deep TE position in the 2017 draft.