Bears head coach John Fox will have a familiar face on offense in his first season as the man in charge in Chicago.
On Thursday, the Bears announced the signing of tight end Dante Rosario to a one-year deal.
The 30-year-old Oregon product has spent the last two seasons with the Bears after he was acquired from Dallas for a seventh-round pick the week prior to the 2013 opening day.
Rosario spent his first five seasons playing for Fox in Carolina (2007-10) and Denver (2011) before playing a combined 15 games with Miami and San Diego (2011-12).
He has appeared in 76 games with Fox, which includes 25 starts where he caught a career-high 313 yards in 2009 and a career-high 32 receptions in 2010.
Even though Rosario has only 17 catches for 129 yards in two seasons with the Bears, the 6-foot-4, 242-pounder has plenty of value as a backup.
He is a solid blocker, can play fullback in a pitch and is a leader on special teams. He had seven tackles on special teams last season.
Rosario hasn’t recorded 200 yards receiving since the 2010 season when it marked his third consecutive year reaching that total. He has 116 receptions for 1,235 yards and eight touchdowns in 32 starts in his eight-year career.
He’ll compete for the No. 2 spot with Zach Miller, who re-signed with the Bears on Feb. 27. Miller hasn’t appeared in a regular season game since 2011, so it remains to be seen what his role will be.
However, Miller is a talented player, who caught two touchdowns in the preseason opener a year ago before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury.
Second-year Cincinnati product Blake Annen and practice squad player Jacob Maxwell are the other tight ends under contract. Annen appeared in five games last season playing exclusively on special teams.
The Bears may look to the draft for a young rising talent to develop behind Pro Bowl tight end Martellus Bennett, but for now Rosario gives them a dependable No. 2 option at the position.
Thoughts on the Bears’ signing of Dante Rosario?
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