Bears Announce Signing of Veteran Tight End

James O'Shaughnessy

Getty James O'Shaughnessy was a fifth-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015.

The Chicago Bears have added another tight end to the mix.

The Bears announced on April 18 they have signed veteran James O’Shaughnessy to a one-year contract. They initially brought O’Shaughnessy in for a workout on April 11, and must have liked what they saw. He’ll join Cole Kmet, Ryan Griffin and Jesper Horsted in the TEs room.

O’Shaughnessy, 30, has spent the previous five years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. His first two seasons were spent with the Kansas City Chiefs, who selected him in the fifth round (73rd overall) in the 2015 draft. There, he got to know current Bears general manager Ryan Poles, who was Kansas City’s college scouting coordinator at the time O’Shaughnessy was drafted.

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O’Shaughnessy Is a Local Product

Not only does O’Shaughnessy have a connection to Poles, he has local ties. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound tight end hails from Naperville, Illinois and he attended Naperville North High School. He also played his college ball at Illinois State from 2010-2014. He redshirted and 2010, but played a key role on offense every year after that. O’Shaughnessy played in 49 games for the Redbirds from 2011-14, catching 65 passes for 1,170 yards and 14 touchdowns.

His senior campaign was particularly solid, as he notched career highs in TDs (9), catches (29) and receiving yards (544). He played in 23 games for the Chiefs over his first two years in the league, starting six. He caught eight passes for 86 yards with Kansas City and was later traded along with a sixth-round pick in 2017 to the New England Patriots in exchange for a fifth-round selection.

His time with the Patriots didn’t last long, however. New England released him in September of 2017, but he caught on with the Jags shortly after that, where he developed into a solid starter when healthy.

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O’Shaughnessy Has Battled Multiple Injuries Over Last Several Seasons

The veteran TE started 34 games for the Jags over the last five years, playing in 57. He had 104 catches on 154 targets for 1,022 yards (9.8 yards per catch) and three scores with Jacksonville. His production would likely have been much higher had he not dealt with multiple injuries in recent seasons.

O’Shaughnessy tore his ACL in 2019, ending his season after he had played in just five games. He was developing a solid rapport with former Jags quarterback Gardner Minshew prior to the injury that year, hauling in 14 passes for 153 yards and two scores before he went down with the knee injury.

He managed to come back and be a solid contributor the following season in 2020, playing in 15 out of 16 games, while catching 28 passes for a career-high 262 yards. The injury bug bit again last season, however, as he landed on the injured reserve list in September with an ankle issue that forced him to miss eight games. He also missed the final two games of the 2021 season with a hip injury.

When healthy, he can be a solid asset both as a blocker and as a pass catcher. In seven games and six starts last season, he earned an overall 62.8 grade from PFF, averaging 4.8 yards after-the-catch, dropping one pass on 33 targets.

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