Bears Sign Former Packers Second-Round Pick to 1-Year Deal: Report

Chicago Bears sign former Packers tackle Jason Spriggs

Getty Jason Spriggs #78 of the Green Bay Packers just signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

The Bears have added a bit of depth at the tackle position, and he arrives fresh from their rivals in the North. Per ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the Bears have signed offensive tackle Jason Spriggs to a one-year deal.

Spriggs, who played his college ball at Indiana, was a second-round draft pick for the Packers (No. 48 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he hasn’t seen the field as much as the team surely hoped he would when they drafted him. Ted Thompson moved up to select him, sending three picks to the Indianapolis Colts (the 57th overall, a fourth-round selection (125th) and a seventh-rounder (248th).

Spriggs spent the entire 2019 season on Green Bay’s injured reserve list, and he missed time in 2017 with a knee injury. He played in 13 games throughout the 2018 season, filling in for an injured Bryan Bulaga, but he never caught on, and is considered to be one of Ted Thompson’s second-round bust picks. Still, this could be a low-risk, high-reward pick up for the Bears.

Jason Spriggs Was a Promising Draft Prospect in 2016

Spriggs performed very well at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, where his physical gifts were well on display. He ran a 4.94 40-yard dash, and had 31 bench press reps. Scouts at the time said the following about him prior to the draft:

“As a move blocker, lands squarely in the strike zone and rolls hips and feet under him to to wash down defender or secure a down-block. Shows good patience in space with ability to become solid combination blocker in zone scheme … Spriggs has outstanding athleticism, but his play strength and overall recovery ability are major concerns for a position as important as tackle. Spriggs followed up a strong week at the Senior Bowl with a very good showing at the combine and has solidified his standing as an early round tackle amongst evaluators. If he can improve his inside post and prevent counter moves from eating him up, he has a chance to be a solid NFL starter on the left side.”

He has a lot of upside, and he’ll certainly come cheap. Plus, as it turns out, he was pursued by the Bears once before.

Bears Wanted to Draft Spriggs Back in 2016

Spriggs was on the Bears’ radar prior to the Matt Nagy era. Chicago was looking at him in the 2016 NFL Draft, but Thompson moved up and snagged him first. The Bears ended up drafting Cody Whitehair instead, and definitely came out all the better for it.

Now, the Bears have the opportunity to see if new offensive line coach Juan Castillo can find a way to harness Spriggs’ undeniable physical gifts and find a way to improve his game. He had 10 penalties in his 36 games, having a slight issue with false starts, notching six in his three seasons.

Spriggs played in 36 games for the Packers, starting nine. He played left tackle at Indiana before moving over to the right side for a bit during his time in Green Bay. Perhaps Castillo can bring something out of him other coaches couldn’t.

Castillo’s former players certainly speak highly of what he has done for them on the offensive line.

Offensive lineman Jon Runyan said Castillo helped his game immensely over the years. “Juan is one where it’s repetition, repetition and repetition,” Runyan said. “And that’s all it is. He really holds you accountable for it. He’s very good at it. But I can tell you as a player, sometimes it wears on you because it does get a little bit crazy.”

Could a little bit of Castillo’s ‘crazy’ fix Spriggs and the Bears’ offensive line? We’ll find out soon enough.

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