A couple of familiar faces are officially back in the fold with the Chicago Bears for 2019.
First: The team announced punter Pat O’Donnell was, indeed, returning on a two-year deal, confirming a report from earlier in the week. We discussed the O’Donnell re-signing as a move that locks in a steady presence in the Bears special teams room at a cost that doesn’t appear to be prohibitive. Then again, I can understand why some fans would be hesitant to embrace O’Donnell, given how his final punt of the season gave the Eagles premier field position, but let’s not do that to ourselves right now.
Now that O’Donnell is back on a two-year deal, he’ll have his opportunities to make amends. Unless, of course, the Bears score all of the touchdowns and render the punter position useless (Hey, a guy can dream!).
And second: Quarterback Tyler Bray has also re-signed with the team. Bray returns on a one-year deal, which means the quarterbacks room in 2019 remains unchanged from last season. Bray will reunite with Chase Daniel as the backups behind starter Mitch Trubisky, where they will resume their roles as mentors imparting their knowledge of Matt Nagy’s system to QB1. Bray didn’t take a single snap for the Bears in 2018, but appeared on the active roster as Daniel’s backup when Trubisky sat out two weeks because of an injured throwing shoulder.
Bringing back Bray probably puts the Bears out of the running to draft a quarterback or make signing one as an undrafted free agent a priority, though I wouldn’t totally rule it out.