While much of the focus around here lately has zoomed in on the players on their way to the Chicago Bears, there are still some who are on their way out.
Chris Emma of WSCR-AM 670/CBS Chicago reports the team did not tender contracts to tight end Daniel Brown, linebacker John Timu, and long snapper Patrick Scales. Timu and Brown were restricted free agents, while Scales was an exclusive rights free agent, meaning he could only negotiate with the Bears.
After being non-tendered, each of these players are free to explore options outside of Halas Hall.
Brown might be considered the highest-profile name among the three non-tendered Bears because of how he was used in Dowell Loggains’ offense. Brown played 241 snaps after Zach Miller went down with a season-ending knee injury and caught 13 passes for 129 yards.
A converted wide receiver, Loggains used Brown as the team’s receiving tight end while Adam Shaheen was saddled to the bench until goal line situations. Because the Bears’ decision-makers weren’t using the time in a lost season to develop Shaheen’s skills as a route-runner and pass-catcher, Loggains often found himself under fire and was widely panned for orchestrating an offense that was predictable based on lineups on the field.
For example, Shaheen was used as a blocker on 69.5 percent of his total snaps. And then there is Brown, who was out running routes on 74.4 percent of his plays. Essentially, teams could see Shaheen on the field and guess that a running play is coming or that he won’t be used as a receiver. And if Brown was on the field, it’s safe to assume that more often than not he was running a pattern. Long story, short: the Bears could stand to be less offensively predictable moving forward.
The Bears non-tendering Brown opens a back door to keeping Dion Sims in the fold for right now.
Timu joined the Bears as an undrafted free agent out of Washington in 2015. He played 29 games over parts of the last three seasons in Chicago, starting nine games overall. Timu was one of a handful of inside linebackers deployed by the defense in 2017 when injuries turned the position into a revolving door – hell, he was limited to 136 snaps, thanks to an injury of his own. The Bears will now look elsewhere for a reserve linebacker who could fill in as a starter in a pinch and contribute on special teams.
Scales was set to be the team’s long snapper before suffering an ACL injury in the preseason. The Utah State product was picked up by the Bears in the middle of the 2015 season and played five games. Scales was the team’s long snapper for the entirety of the 2016 season, but didn’t play at all last year. He is expected to be healthy in time to resume football activities. With this non-tender, long snapper and punter are the only special teams positions left unfilled in Chicago.