5 Chicago Bears Who May Not Return with Shane Waldron as Offensive Coordinator

Chicago Bears, Justin Fields, Darnell Mooney
Chicago Bears, Justin Fields, Darnell Mooney / Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
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Number 2: Tight End Robert Tonyan

Waldron's time in Seattle was highlighted by a lot of offensive success, but notably, he did so by frequently utilizing multiple tight ends. Last season, Seattle was one of 12 teams to line up in 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) over 25% of the time on first down. Further, Seattle was in 13 personnel (one running back, three tight ends) on 11% of their first downs, a number that was only surpassed by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Even with an impressive wide receiver stable of D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jackson Smith-Njigba, Waldron was adamant in his usage of tight ends, a feature that potentially facilitated complaints from the latter receiver last week. The Bears already have one quality tight end on the roster in Cole Kmet, but Waldron will likely look to add more talent within the position group, even if it means letting Robert Tonyan walk in free agency.

Chicago Bears, Robert Tonyan
Chicago Bears, Robert Tonyan / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

After flashing with the Green Bay Packers, Tonyan joined the Bears ahead of the 2023 season, but a disappointing season as Kmet's main compliment means that the team will likely look to improve the room via different avenues. This year's tight-end class is perhaps not as talented as last year's, but there are many quality prospects, such as Georgia's Brock Bowers, a player that the team may draft with the ninth overall pick next April. The Bears could certainly look to get younger and more talented at the tight-end position via the draft, or they could find a savvy veteran to potentially help a younger quarterback via free agency.