Chicago Bears: TEs to target if team can’t land Hooperon March 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm

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Chicago Bears, Trey Burton

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears need to drastically improve at the tight end position this offseason. The team should look at these free-agent tight ends if they miss out on the top prize in free agency.

The Chicago Bears had very little production from their tight ends over the past two seasons. The team signed Trey Burton in the 2018 offseason hoping he’d be the anchor needed to run coach Matt Nagy’s offense. It hasn’t worked out as planned.

Burton dealt with injuries for most of last season and was barely on the field. Backup tight end Adam Shaheen also had some injury problems but was benched during the season for poor play. He very well could be classified as a draft bust.

If you add those two issues together, it makes sense that the Bears dug deep to find help at the position. With guys like Jesper Horsted and Bradley Sowell suiting up at the position, it was clear the Bears needed major help at the position.

Take a look at the two offenses most similar to Nagy’s: the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. Each of those offenses features an elite pass-catching tight end in Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce, respectively.

The Bears need a dynamic player at the position to help other targets get open for quarterback Mitch Trubisky. The top prize in the free-agent market for a tight end this year is Austin Hooper. He also comes with an expectedly high price tag.

Hooper, previously with the Atlanta Falcons, is a hot commodity because of his career-best stats last year (despite missing three games) and the fact that he’s just 25 years old.

When free agency officially begins on Wednesday, March 18th, expect a bidding war for Hooper to ensue. It’s unlikely the Bears will have enough money to make a significant offer to Hooper unless they make more roster moves.

If the Bears don’t land Hooper, there’s still plenty of talent out there at tight end for the team to pursue. Here are the three tight ends the team should go after as a consolation prize if they miss out on Hooper.

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