Chicago Bears Tender Two Key RFAs and Josh Bellamy

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 11: Cameron Meredith
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 11: Cameron Meredith /

The Chicago Bears appear to be keeping three of their RFAs from last year’s squad.

The Chicago Bears’ roster is slowly starting to take shape in 2018. Obviously, the big splashes in free agency and the NFL Draft are still to come, but the Bears have made some decisions about some key players from the 2017 squad.

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The Bears started off last week by tagging Kyle Fuller with the transition tag almost assuring the fact that the young cornerback will be back in Chicago, at least in 2018, if not longer.

The Bears still have to decide if they are going to keep Prince Amukamara opposite Fuller at cornerback, but they are most likely going to pursue other CB options before they decide what to do with Amukamara. But before they do that, they had some other items to take care of.

Today, the Bears did some more housekeeping. First, they signed Bradley Sowell to a contract extension. But after that, some news came down about their restricted free agents.

First, they tendered Bryce Callahan.

What this means is that they gave Callahan an original round tender. Callahan was a UDFA out of college, so there is no draft compensation for Callahan if another team signs him away. If a team signs Callahan to an offer sheet, Ryan Pace and the front office will have the opportunity to match or let him walk away (thus the right of first refusal). Callahan isn’t expected to have a large market, so if he is signed to an offer sheet, it should be quite affordable.

The news didn’t stop there, as the Bears weren’t finished.

Meredith was also a UDFA when the Bears originally brought him aboard so he too, doesn’t come with any draft compensation if someone else signs him. Many thought the Bears might place a second-round tender on Meredith, but coming off a knee injury, the team is confident they know what his market is.

Basically what the Bears have done is used the equivalent of the transition tag on both Meredith and Bellamy. They can match any offer that either of these two players receives. Expect both of them back.

But the Bears weren’t done there, another RFA was tendered as well.

The Bears have decided to keep Josh Bellamy around, at least through the preseason. This one is definitely a surprise. The Bears know Bellamy isn’t good enough to receive offensive snaps, but he is a solid contributor on special teams and perhaps the Bears are seeing if someone can outperform Bellamy in camp, or perhaps they like him enough to keep him on the roster regardless.

Bellamy isn’t expected to have a market but if by some miracle a team offers Bellamy a contract, the Bears would not match that one, at least Bears fans should hope not. If for some reason, it’s slipped your mind why Bellamy shouldn’t play offensive snaps, let me remind you.

The  free agency buzz is about to reach a serious roar. The next few days should be very exciting.