The Bears added a piece of depth to their tight end position on Friday by signing Justin Perillo, who finished the 2016 season on the team’s practice squad.
Bringing Perillo on board off the practice squad adds a sixth tight end to the Bears depth chart. Perillo joins Zach Miller, Logan Paulsen, Ben Braunecker, Daniel Brown, and MyCole Pruitt.
You can check out a projected 2017 depth chart via Ourlads.com here.
Tight end isn’t the biggest offseason need for the Bears, so the lack of top-end talent won’t be treated as a high priority in the draft or free agency.
However, there is no escaping a couple things. First, the group of Bears tight ends as currently constructed is either oft-injured (Miller has missed seven games in the last two seasons), will play in their age 30 season or older (Miller, Paulsen), or are young (all played at age 25 or younger in 2016) and/or inexperienced (Perillo, Braunecker, Brown and Pruitt have a combined total of 66 games played between the four of them).
The Bears don’t have a steady, reliable tight end option currently on the roster. Miller has only one year left on the two-year contract he signed in 2016, but at least the battle for a reserve tight end role will not have a shortage of participants.
Perillo, an undrafted free agent out of Maine, has 15 catches in 19 career games over three seasons with the Green Bay Packers. His lone touchdown came in 2015, an 11-yard catch from Aaron Rodgers with 32 seconds left in the fourth quarter to bring the Packers within two points of the Lions in what turned out to be an 18-16 Detroit victory.