The Chicago Bears recently released Trey Burton. Could they be making way for a tight end in the draft? What about a trade for O.J. Howard instead?
The Chicago Bears offense needs to see success from the tight end position. Matt Nagy has said on multiple occasions how important the tight end position is to his offensive schemes. The difference in production at the position between 2018 and 2019 is alarming to say the least. This is why Ryan Pace went out and signed Jimmy Graham.
An important ability for any player in any sport is ability. If a player is unable to play, it does not matter how talented he or she may be. Just ask the Cincinnati Bengals about A.J. Green. Last year, Trey Burton was hardly available and when he was he was not making an impact. Whether the issues with Burton are injury related or mental (has been known to suffer from anxiety), he will now be someone else’s problem in 2021 and beyond.
When we look at the Graham signing, many say he is too old and washed. The thing is, Graham has at least been consistently available. He has not missed a game in the last four years and has only missed seven games in his 10-year career. He has five Pro Bowl appearances during that time, his most recent in 2017 with the Seahawks. Graham might not be the player he was when in New Orleans, but he still brings a dynamic to the position the Bears desperately need.
If Graham is going to be so great, then why worry about adding another tight end in the draft or trade for O.J. Howard? Well, to expect Graham to be successful for many years to come would be naive and ignorant. He likely only has two to three more good years left in the tank. The Chicago Bears will need to bring in a younger option to take over at some point in 2021 or 2022.
This would lead most to think the 2020 NFL Draft is the best route, but is it? Would adding O.J. Howard really be the better option? Could this team thrive with two tight ends opposed to one or none? Honestly, the answer is likely yes. Therefore, here are a few trade packages Ryan Pace could cook up to sent to Tampa Bay for O.J. Howard.