The Addition of Jacquizz Rodgers Gives The Bears Versatility Behind Matt Forte

The Addition of Jacquizz Rodgers Gives The Bears Versatility Behind Matt Forte
Running back Jacquizz Rodgers #32 of the Atlanta Falcons warms up for play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers November 17, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Tampa won 41- 28. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

General manager Ryan Pace brought in another veteran role player on a one-year deal.

On Tuesday, the Bears announced the signing of running back Jacquizz Rodgers. Last week, defensive ends Jarvis Jenkins and Ray McDonald, cornerback Alan Ball and linebacker Mason Foster were all signed to one-year deals.

Rodgers is the 10th addition this off-season and seventh to sign a one-year deal. He provides nice depth behind starter Matt Forte, who took the field for 92 percent of the snaps last season. Second-year players Ka’Deem Carey and Senorise Perry both are under contract.

In four seasons in Atlanta, Rodgers totaled 305 carries for 1,116 yards and 155 catches for 1,104 yards and 10 total touchdowns. He is a great pass-catcher out of the backfield much like Forte and even at 5-foot-6, he is a proven blocker.

Rodgers has experience as a starter, making five in his time in Atlanta and as a kick returner, taking back 49 with a long off 77 yards.

Pace’s addition of Rodgers makes sense with the Bears expected to run the ball much more this season under head coach John Fox. In New Orleans, Pace helped bring a bunch of versatile backs in Darren Sproles, Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Travaris Cadet and Joique Bell.

At the very least, Rodgers will serve a role as a situational third-down back. He’s certainly competition for the No. 2 spot behind Forte that was occupied by last year’s fourth-round pick Carey.

The Oregon State product has averaged only 3.65 yards per carry in 63 career games which explains why his market was so quiet this off-season. But like mentioned above, the plan is to run the ball often and get the ball into the hands of playmakers.

Rodgers fits the bill as a sub-package back. He averaged 39 receptions in his tenure with the Falcons.

The draft is stacked with running backs, so it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Bears add a big powerful back behind Forte. Perry is the tallest of the group behind Forte at 6-0, while Carey is 5-10. Both players are still very raw offensively.

“I think (Forte) is obviously a solid performer, a guy we’re going to lean on a lot this year,” Fox said last week in Arizona.

Rodgers is just another piece of the puzzle offensively, where offensive coordinator Adam Gase is planning to surround his quarterback Jay Cutler with playmakers in an effort to make things easier for him.

Rodgers can contribute as a core special teamer and kick returner as well.

Thoughts on the signing of Jacquizz Rodgers?

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