The Bears Bring Back Exclusive-Rights Free Agent DL Andrew Brown
When a team has to fill out 90 roster spots in the offseason, there will be some names that need a few seconds to click before you remember who they are or what position they play.
Admittedly, it took me a few more seconds than usual to remember Andrew Brown when seeing this tweet from NFL reporter Aaron Wilson reporting the team was re-signing the exclusive-rights agent:
Exclusive-rights free agents are players who can negotiate and sign deals with only their original teams. And with that, Brown is back in Chicago.
Brown, 27, was a fifth-round pick (158th overall) by the Bengals in 2018. The Virginia product has bounced around the league since his drafting in 2018. He has spent time with the Bengals (2018-20), Texans (2020), and Chargers (2021) before participating in five games with the Bears in 2022. If you have little to no recollection of Brown’s time in Chicago, I’ll give you a pass. Brown played a grand total of 79 special teams snaps in Games 13-17. For what it’s worth, Brown crossed paths with Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus in 2021 when the Colts claimed him off the waiver wire. His time in Indianapolis spanned 174 days and didn’t include any time on the regular-season roster. But he must’ve made an impression on someone because he is continuing his time in Chicago.
Brown is one of 10 defensive linemen currently on the Bears’ roster. However, it is worth noting that only three players who started last year are set to return to Chicago. Trevis Gipson, Justin Jones, and Dominique Robinson figure to be contributors in 2023. Joining them are free-agent newcomers DeMarcus Walker and Rasheem Green. The depth beyond that includes players like Brown, Gerri Green, Jalyn Holmes, and Donovan Jeter. It is a busy bunch, to be sure. And more could be on the way if the 2023 NFL Draft resembles what the mocks look like with Chicago targeting all sorts of defensive line help.