Former Bears Receiver Drawing Interest From NFC Foe: Report

Newsome 49ers Workout

Getty Former Bears sixth-round pick Dazz Newsome worked out for the 49ers on Monday.

One of Ryan Pace’s final draft picks as general manager of the Chicago Bears is getting some signing consideration from another team in the NFC.

According to the NFL’s official transaction wire for November 14, the San Francisco 49ers brought in former Bears wide receiver Dazz Newsome for a workout on Monday as the 2021 sixth-round pick out of North Carolina continues his search for a new team.

Newsome didn’t get off to the best start as a rookie with the Bears in 2021, breaking his collarbone during practice in June and missing the majority of training camp as a result. He ended up spending the majority of the season on Chicago’s practice squad; although, he was flexed to the game-day roster twice down the stretch before earning a full promotion to the active roster for the final game of the regular season.

Newsome finished with two catches for 23 yards and one first down on five targets and averaged a respectable 12.5 yards on six punt returns over his three games of action.

Unfortunately, Newsome failed to distinguish himself as either a pass-catcher or punt returner in the eyes of the new regime through the first few weeks of camp and was ultimately waived on August 23 ahead of the second roster cutdown deadline. He has since only spent a few days on the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad.

Vikings Sign Ex-Bears TE James O’Shaughnessy

In addition to Newsome getting a fresh workout in the NFC, another former Bears player — veteran tight end James O’Shaughnessy — also found a new home on Monday when the Minnesota Vikings signed him to their 16-man practice squad.

The Bears had signed O’Shaughnessy back in April to add another experienced pass-catcher to their room alongside Cole Kmet, Ryan Griffin and Jesper Horsted. With 112 career receptions over seven seasons, it had been thought he would be a lock to make the 53-man roster, but he was waived during final roster cuts at the end of the summer with the Bears deciding to keep Kmet and Griffin as their only tight ends.

While O’Shaughnessy is unlikely to get an immediate shot with the Vikings, they do only have two tight ends on their roster at the moment. Their primary starter at the spot is going to be newly acquired T.J. Hockenson, but Irv Smith Jr. is still on injured reserve and Johnny Mundt has only caught 13 passes for 77 yards in limited reps this season. It’s not impossible to think O’Shaughnessy could get a game-day bump at some point.

Bears Held Out Both Harry & Jones vs. Lions

The Bears have an interesting — and disappointing — situation playing out in their receiving room at the moment. For a second straight week, they made third-round rookie Velus Jones Jr. a healthy scratch for Sunday’s 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions. They also unexpectedly did the same thing with former first-rounder N’Keal Harry, choosing instead to roll with a five-stack of Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool, Byron Pringle, Equanimeous St. Brown and Dante Pettis.

“We thought, for us, it was the best five receivers up for us for this particular game, and that’s what we decided was best for the Chicago Bears this week,” Eberflus told reporters after the loss to the Lions on November 13. “And again, with Dante doing a good job on the punt returns and he’s continuing to do a nice job back there catching the ball and he got some nice yards today, too.”

There are a couple of issues with Jones and Harry not playing, starting with investment. The Bears sunk a 2022 third-round pick into getting Jones and then avoided the position for the remainder of the draft, seemingly making him an important piece of their rebuilding efforts. They also gave up a 2024 seventh-rounder to the New England Patriots in order to take a flier on Harry, who has been back from his preseason injury for more than a month now.

Beyond the investment, it is also troubling that neither Jones nor Harry is beating out Pettis and St. Brown — who have each had crucial drops in recent weeks. Clearly, Jones losing two fumbles on the season as a returner hurt his chances of playing on special teams, but most rebuilding teams would still make efforts to get their Day 2 rookie looks at the position he was actually drafted to fulfill … unless he is struggling that much.

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