Chicago Bears: 3 tight ends who could replace Jimmy Graham

Chicago Bears - Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bears, Jesse James
Chicago Bears (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears could sign Jesse James

Why not bring in another tight end from a former NFC North rival? Should Richard Rodgers not fit the bill, the Chicago Bears could turn their attention to signing Jesse James instead. James, like Rodgers, is a proven veteran who can handle the load here and there if needed. He is not and never will be a top tight end in the league, but remember, we are looking for value and backup production here as we hope Cole Kmet takes the big jump needed this season.

Jesse James was at one point a main focal point in the Pittsburgh Steelers offense. In 2016 and 2017, James saw 60 and 63 targets. He caught over 65% of those targets for a season average of 355 yards and three touchdowns. His targets fell off the following year with only 39 targets, but his efficiency improved by grabbing 76.9% of those targets for 423 yards and two touchdowns. One thing to note that year was his average yards per target spiked to 10.8 despite averaging less than six yards per target every other year.

While with the Lions, James saw just shy of 50% of the team’s offensive snap share. He is coming off a season where he caught two touchdowns and gained only 129 yards receiving. However, if the Bears brought in a player like James, he is going to be more of an in-line tight end who will block more than run routes but can help in the receiving game on occasion. Essentially, think of him as the 2021 Demetrius Harris.

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Geoff Swaim
Anthony Firkser