Bears Sign Veteran QB, Showing Interest in Ex-Saints WR

Nathan Peterman

Getty QB Nathan Peterman has signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

The Chicago Bears have waived one quarterback and added another.

The team announced on May 11 it had waived quarterback Ryan Willis and signed veteran quarterback Nathan Peterman to a one-year contract. A fifth-round pick for the Buffalo Bills in 2017 (171st overall), Peterman spent his first two seasons in Buffalo before signing with the Raiders in 2019. He spent that season on injured reserve with an elbow injury.

The 28-year-old QB remained with the Raiders over the last two years, serving as the team’s third-string quarterback behind starter Derek Carr and backup Marcus Mariota.

Chicago also appears to be showing interest in a free agent wide receiver. NFL insider Adam Schefter reported on May 11 that former New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers wide receiver Keith Kirkwood visited the Bears.

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Peterman: Background & Stats

Over his four seasons as an active player in the league, Peterman has started four games and played in 10, completing 52.6% of his passes for 573 yards, three touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He’ll be the Bears’ new third stringer behind backup Trevor Siemian and starter Justin Fields.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Peterman threw 47 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 26 starts at Pitt, and he led the highest scoring offense in the school’s history (40.92 points per game and 532 total points) his senior season in 2016, but he never reached similar heights in the pros.

The Bears have faced Peterman twice; once in 2018, when he started for the Bills, throwing three picks and finishing with a 45.3 rating in a 41-9 Buffalo loss. Peterman also played against the Bears Week 5 last year, appearing minimally, running the ball twice for two yards.

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Who Is Keith Kirkwood?

According to Schefter’s report, the Bears are also interested in Kirkwood, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Temple University in 2018. He spent his first two seasons in New Orleans, playing in nine games and starting one. He caught 13 passes on 21 targets for 209 yards (16.1 yards per reception) and two scores while with the Saints before reuniting with former Temple head coach Matt Rhule in Carolina.

He spent the last two seasons with the Panthers, playing in four games and catching four passes on nine targets for 30 yards. Kirkwood bounced around between Carolina’s practice squad, active roster and injured reserve list over the last two seasons, spending time on IR twice in 2019 with a shoulder and clavicle issues.

The Bears’ wide receivers room is currently a tad crowded. It includes presumed starters Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle and rookie Velus Jones Jr., along with free agent additions David Moore and Equanimeous St. Brown. There’s also Isaiah Coulter and Nsimba Webster, second-year hopeful Dazz Newsome and several UDFAs competing for spots on the practice squad and active roster: Duquesne’s Cyrus Holder, Southern Illinois’ Landon Lenoir, Slippery Rock’s Henry Litwin and Liberty’s Kevin Shaa.

We’ll see if Kirkwood adds his name to that list.

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