The Bears add depth with the re-signing of veteran TE Rob Housler

The Bears add depth with the re-signing of veteran TE Rob Housler
Rob Housler #88 of the Chicago Bears celebrates with Josh Bellamy #11 after Bellamy makes a touchdown reception in the third quarter at Soldier Field on January 3, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

After re-signing six of their own and four new faces since free agency opened up last Wednesday, the Bears signed their 11th overall player by bringing back tight end Rob Housler on a one-year deal on Monday morning.

Originally signed December 9 with Martellus Bennett on injured reserve, he suited up for the final four games of the season for the Bears, catching three passes for 27 yards. A 2011 third round pick out of Florida Atlantic, Housler was waived by Cleveland while coming off injured reserve last season. He signed with the Browns via free agency last off-season following a four-year stint with Arizona.

Set to turn 28 this Friday, Housler is nice depth for a Bears team that currently only has Bennett and two second-year players in Khari Lee and Gannon Sinclair under contract at tight end. Yes, Bennett is still signed for this season, but it is very doubtful he’s on the roster come next season as the Bears are looking to trade him at some point this off-season. As for Zach Miller, he visited Los Angeles to meet with the Rams on Sunday. No word yet on his future.

The 6’5″, 250-pound Housler has made 28 starts in 65 games, adding 109 grabs for 1,166 yards (10.7 average) and a touchdown in his five-year career. The Bears visited with Jermaine Gresham last week, but he chose to go back to Arizona on a one-year contract on Sunday. Along with the Jets, the Bears reportedly offered Gresham a four-year, $22 million deal ($12 million in guaranteed money), per The Arizona Republic.

Signging Housler on a one-year pact, likely for the veteran minimum makes much more sense than Gresham, who quite frankly isn’t worth what he was reportedly offered by the Bears and Jets.

Safety market

On Twitter this morning, a fan tweeted at Arizona Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson saying “we need you in Chicago, join the youth movement.”

Jefferson responded with this:

For what it’s worth, the Bears haven’t been linked to Jefferson in free agency, but after Arizona slapped the 24-year-old with the lowest round tender, $1.67 million earlier this month it would make sense for them to look into his asking price. No pick would be needed to sign Jefferson. Of course,the Bears would need to offer him a contract and he can’t technically be recruited, but you never know what can happen in free agency.

Undrafted out of Oklahoma in 2013, Jefferson has made 17 starts in three seasons with the Cardinals adding 181 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a defensive touchdown. The 5’11”, 212-pounder would be a high-upside young talent that the Bears could pair with second-year man Adrian Amos. If they decide to go that route it would be wise considering the draft isn’t loaded with top-tier safeties this year.

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