After having one of the more dreadful tight end units in the NFL, the Chicago Bears are taking action to better the position.
Per NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Bears have signed veteran Kansas City Chiefs tight end Demetrius Harris to a 1-year deal. Harris spent four seasons with current Bears head coach Matt Nagy in Kansas City, so the Nagy-connection was likely a huge factor.
Harris is a solid, reasonable pickup for Nagy and company. He has a minimal injury history (he has missed just two games in the past five seasons, and he will automatically be a better blocker at the position than anyone currently on the team’s roster.
Harris was recently cut by the Cleveland Browns after spending one season there. Harris played in 15 games for the Browns this year, starting six. He finished the 2019 season with 15 catches for 149 yards and three scores, but he has widely been complimented for his blocking abilities, which is sorely needed in Chicago.
The Bears were the sixth-worst rushing team in the NFL in 2019, averaging just over 91 yards a game and 3.7 yards per rush. They should benefit immensely from Harris’ presence. He’s a 6-7 230 lb. tight end already familiar with Nagy’s offensive scheme who is just 28 years old.
Does Signing of Harris Signal the End for TE Adam Shaheen?
Harris is an established veteran who has experience as both a ‘U’ and a ‘Y’ tight end. He likely won’t catch tons of passes (he has 754 career receiving yards), but he will likely take over the block-heavy role of ‘Y’ tight end in Nagy’s system.
The Bears were historically bad at the tight end position in 2019. As a unit, Bears tight ends had 36 catches for 416 receiving yards and a mere two touchdowns. They also did not have a tight end hit the 100-yard mark once last year, which was the first time that has happened since 1976.
Harris is coming off a bit of a down year, but he could still give this Bears offense some depth. Windy City Gridiron’s Jacob Infante noted that Harris alone had more touchdown catches than the every Bears tight end combined last year:
Harris had a career low PFF grade with the Browns last season (.45), but his familiarity with Nagy’s offense should boost that grade quite a bit.
The arrival of Harris may also signal the end of the Adam Shaheen era in Chicago. Shaheen was taken in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and he has never come close to being a consistent or solid contributor on offense, and is widely considered to be one of GM Ryan Pace’s biggest draft busts.