The Chicago Bears have added yet another speedy wide receiver. Tuesday evening, the Bears announced they have signed former New England Patriots wideout Damiere Byrd to a one-year deal. Byrd is coming off a career-best season in 2020, and he makes Chicago’s wide receivers room a bit more interesting.
Byrd played in all 16 games for New England last year, starting 14. He caught 47 passes for 604 yards (12.9 yards per catch) and a touchdown. He signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 2015, where he played sparingly, spending his first three years with the team. He spent the 2019 season with the Arizona Cardinals, playing in 13 games and starting 11. He had 32 catches for 359 yards and a score in Arizona before heading to New England, where he became a favorite target of Cam Newton.
He did fumble three times in 2020, so ball security could be something to watch with Byrd, but he’s an intriguing add nonetheless.
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Bears HC Matt Nagy Has Added Several Speedsters This Offseason
With Darnell Mooney and Tarik Cohen already on the roster, Bears head coach Matt Nagy has taken his love of speedy players to the next level this offseason. In addition to Byrd, the Bears have added two swift veterans in running back Damien Williams and wideout Marquise Goodwin, while also drafting receiver Dazz Newsome and running back Khalil Herbert.
Every last one, veterans and rookies alike, has had blistering times in the 40-yard dash. Byrd ran a 4.28 40-yard dash, and Herbert ran his in 4.51 seconds, while Newsome was clocked at his Pro Day at 4.57. Mooney ran a 4.38 at the NFL scouting combine, Williams ran a 4.45 at his. Goodwin ran a 4.27 at his combine back in 2013, and while he has lost a step over the years, he’s still a zippy player. Cohen ran a 4.42 at his combine, rounding out seven dynamic play-makers on offense capable of blazing speeds. Opposing defenses may have a very difficult time keeping up if these guys get the ball in their hands on a regular basis.
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Bears Have Also Shored Up Special Teams
With all of their recent speedy additions, the Bears have also managed to shore up their return specialists for the 2021 season. Cohen, Newsome and Byrd all have experience as punt returners, and Herbert, Goodwin, Byrd and Williams have all been kickoff returners at some point. After letting Cordarrelle Patterson go in free agency and seeing Cohen fall Week 3 to an ACL tear, Chicago needed capable returners and more depth on special teams, and it certainly has that now.
Whether Andy Dalton or Justin Fields is under center, the Bears will have plenty of speed to help fuel an offensive attack that may be one of the fastest in the league, and they have it on special teams, as well.