Well, it’s official: The Chicago Bears have announced the release of tight end Dion Sims.
As the Bears move on from Sims, they will need to fill his spot on the roster with an able-bodied player who is versatile enough to line up at the “Y” and “U” tight end positions. Finding a player who can fit between Trey Burton (the starter at the “U” spot) and Adam Shaheen (projected starter at the “Y”) in the lineup will have its challenges. Good thing there will be options to choose from once the market opens up.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune offers up Demetrius Harris (Chiefs), Jesse James (Steelers), and Jeff Heuerman (Broncos) as free-agents-to-be who could fit the mold of a blocking tight end who could slide into the Bears’ offense.
Harris might be the most intriguing name on the list, if only because he is familiar with the offense having played under Matt Nagy when Nagy was KC’s OC. Last year, Harris earned the respectable ninth-highest run-blocking grade and 17th-best pass-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus (Trey Burton’s 79.5 run-blocking grade was the NFL’s best, by the way). And for what it’s worth, Harris also hauled in three touchdown passes from Patrick Mahomes last season. Maybe he can help Mitch Trubisky’s MVP case in 2019 by catching a few scores!
James, meanwhile, is best known for catching a touchdown that didn’t count (but should have), but he happens to be the highest-graded pass-blocker (76.8, 11th best among TEs) of this bunch. As for Heuerman, he didn’t grade all that well in either blocking category. Bummer.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a major loss. Sims was limited to 22 games in which he caught 17 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. Concussions ultimately shortened an already brief time with the Bears, so we can only hope that – should Sims decide he wants to continue his playing career – he gets a clean bill of health. Head injuries are not to be taken lightly these days.