He’s Back (Again): The Bears Re-Sign Punter Pat O’Donnell to a Two-Year Deal

The Bears shouldn’t be punting too often in 2019. Not with a strong offensive line, healthy pass-catching targets, a backfield loaded with depth, Mitch Trubisky running the show and Matt Nagy calling the shots. But just in case the offense has an off day, at least the punter has a familiar face.

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reports the Bears and Pat O’Donnell have come to an agreement on a two-year contract worth $4 million. The deal comes one year after O’Donnell signed what was essentially a one-year “prove it” deal that ultimately placed him in a punting competition (which he won!) with undrafted free agent rookie Ryan Winslow. The Bears could have gone down that road again, but decided to reward their long-time punter with a multi-year deal rather than search through the market for a replacement.

O’Donnell, who is one of the few remaining Phil Emery draft picks on the roster, was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded free-agent punter as this week started and graded out as being in the middle-of-the-pack at his position, per Rick Gosselin’s annual special teams rankings. According to Gosselin’s special teams data, O’Donnell’s 28 punts inside-the-20 were tied for the 10th most in the league and his 39.7 yards per punt hovered around league average. Sure, the production could have been better. But it also could have been much worse.

Despite a solid (yet, unspectacular) season, one of the lasting memories Bears fans have of O’Donnell was his last punt – a 36-yarder that landed out of bonds and gave the Eagles great field position at their own 40 before their game-winning touchdown drive. To be clear, that punt wasn’t the reason the Bears lost on Wild-Card Weekend. HOWEVER, that’s a lasting memory no fan wants to be stuck with over a long offseason. But with O’Donnell back in the fold, he’ll have an opportunity to atone for his missed opportunity – unless the Bears offense scores so much it doesn’t need a punter.

Now, to fill that other kicking opening….

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

more bears news

Justin Jefferson Didn’t Show Up to Vikings OTAs Today

Death. Taxes. And an NFL star with contract uncertainty not showing up for OTAs. Those are life's three guarantees. Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson did not show up for the start of organized team activities, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter....

WATCH: Tom Brady and Jay-Z Drop Knowledge on Caleb Williams and Other NFL Rookies

The NFLPA's Rookie Premiere went down over the weekend. And while it was cool to see guys rookies like Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams in uniform for the first time, footage from the rookies' meeting with legendary quarterback Tom Brady...

Bears Fans Have Beef With Ticket Price Hike, NFL Media Shakeup, Netflix and NFL Pact, and Other Bears Bullets

Another round of Chicago Bears offseason training activities begins this week at Halas Hall. Cue up the Thin Lizzy! It was only a matter of time until Bears fans spoke up about this: https://twitter.com/suntimes_sports/status/1792313658262868267 Oof. Aggravating a fan base while...

The Chicago Bears Begin Phase Three of OTAs TODAY

The Chicago Bears are one of 21 NFL teams kicking off the next phase of voluntary workouts today. This post from NFL Media's Kevin Patra highlights the Bears (and 20 other teams) who are getting back into the swing of...

NFLPA Rookie Premiere 2024, Caleb and Rome, Early Fantasy Rankings, and Other Bears Bullets

Wrapping up a weekend of shenanigans with dog-sitting duties. We're going to have walks, belly-rubs, and movie naps today. I'm looking forward to it. But first, I've got to push these BN Bears Bullets across the finish line. Check it...

Bears Watchability, Identifying “Must Win” Games, One Idea For NFL’s International Plan, and Other Bears Bullets

My social calendar unexpectedly filling up in May has been a pleasant surprise. As is projected 80-degree weather on a Saturday afternoon. Cheers, friends. Sure, the Chicago Bears 2024 strength of schedule doesn't look all too daunting. And it sure...

Heads Up! Tyrique Stevenson is Poised For a Breakout

A tip of the cap to the Chicago Bears social media team, which is doing a heckuva job keeping fans engaged in what has turned into a fun offseason. Their latest Q&A endeavor asks Bears players who they would choose...

It’s Here And It’s Perfect: EA Sports College Football 25 Trailer Released

Today EA Sports released the trailer for College Football 25 and it's absolutely perfect. The graphics look amazing, Chris Fowler sets the stage, each team shown has its own unique entrance and tradition, and in just two short months it...

Around the NFL: Get Ready for a Hefty Serving of Aaron Rodgers, How Much Will it Cost to Watch Every NFL Game in 2024? More

The NFL schedule makers felt they were entitled to a re-do when it comes to cramming Aaron Rodgers down our throats, and they took full advantage of it. Plus, how much will it cost to watch every NFL game in...

Bears Defensive Coordinator Eric Washington to Attend NFL’s Coaching Accelerator Program

Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinator Eric Washington will take part in the upcoming NFL Coach Accelerator Program that will take place at the league meetings taking place in Nashville next week. This isn't Washington's first rodeo, as the former Buffalo Bills...

Latest News

Justin Jefferson Didn’t Show Up to Vikings OTAs Today

Death. Taxes. And an NFL star with contract uncertainty not showing up for OTAs. Those are life's three guarantees. Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson did not show up for the start of organized team activities, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter....

Lukewarm Stove: Who Are the Sellers? Yankees Trying to Extend Soto, Eflin, Alonso, Martinez, More

MLB RUMORS — Even though we've already had one relatively big trade this season (Luis Arraez to the Padres) and even though the Cubs have made a couple of their own (acquiring Tyson Miller, dealing Richard Lovelady), I don't think...

Ever See a “2 RBI Walk” …?

I've seen versions of this play first hand ... back in my little league days. But even then, it was saved for our fastest player, and it usually involved him immediately stealing second base after a walk, when everyone's guard...

NFL Rookie QB Futures: Passing Yards Leaders, OROY Odds for Williams, Daniels, Maye, McCarthy, More

While we're in football's offseason, there are still plenty of fun future betting options out there! With such a large contingent of first-round quarterbacks taken in this year's NFL draft, there are several NFL Rookie QB Futures out there to...

MLB Hit and HR Props: Best Bets for Yankees, Dodgers, and More Tonight

As the MLB season heats up, tonight's games offer a plethora of betting opportunities for baseball enthusiasts. From HR props to hits props, the matchups featuring teams like the Yankees and Dodgers are particularly enticing. In this article, we'll dive...

MLBits: MLB Investigating David Fletcher, Giants Lose Jung-Hoo Lee for the Season, More

MLB Notes — Major League Baseball is reportedly investigating former Angels infielder—and current Braves' minor league player—David Fletcher regarding allegations that he placed illegal sports bets with the same bookie that former teammate Shohei Ohtani's interpreter Ippei Mizuhara placed bets...

How to Watch Nationals Games: Full 2024 Schedule, Live Stream and More

If you’re a Washington Nationals fan and looking to watch their games on TV, most of them can be found on MASN but there are many other options as well. Let’s break down the cable and streaming options for watching...

DraftKings $1500 Promo Code, Canucks-Oilers Odds, and More for Tonight

It's an exciting night in sports as we have a game 7 between the Oilers and Canucks, MLB action, and more sports for bettors to get in on the action. You can score a DraftKings promo code as a new...

Cubs Farm Report | May 20, 2024: Tough Day for the Cubs Affiliates

Cubs Farm Report — It was a rough afternoon for the Cubs affiliates, who were swept in four games and scored a combined 10 runs. However, Ethan Roberts made his first appearance with Iowa since 2022 and tossed a scoreless...

How to Watch Pirates Games: Full 2024 Schedule, Live Stream and More

If you’re a Pittsburgh Pirates fan and looking to catch their games on TV, you can catch most of them on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh. Let’s break down the cable and streaming options for watching your Pirates, and check out the...

more bears news