The Chicago Bears' receiving corps were decimated by injury last season, giving some unlikely players a chance to shine. Four year pro Josh Bellamy saw his most extensive action in 2015 and he proved to be a valuable reserve. So valuable that the Bears have decided to bring back the exclusive rights free agent for the 2016 season according to Brad Biggs of the Tribune. He'll still need to make the roster, but his special teams prowess may give him the edge as a 5th receiver.
With Alshon Jeffery franchised, and Kevin White and Eddie Royal back healthy, the Bears top 3 receiving spots seem set, leaving the #4 and #5 wide out positions up for grabs. Bellamy will fight it out with the currently under contract Marquess Wilson, Cameron Meredith and Nathan Palmer for a job this offseason. The Bears also have a decision to make with restricted free agent WR Deonte Thompson and unrestricted free agent Marc Mariani.
2016 Roster Turnover Series: Chicago Bears need Kevin White to become a playmaker
In this 13 part series we'll take an in depth look at each position group for the Chicago Bears with an eye towards the 2016 season. We'll speculate on who stays, who goes, and some potential additions we'd like to see general manager Ryan Pace make.
Last year, Bellamy was second on the Bears in special teams tackles with 10, and he played the 5th most 3rd phase snaps on the roster, 239 (52.3%). In 2015 he also caught the fist pass of his career, totaling 19 receptions for 224 yards (11.8 avg) and 2 TDs. He played in all 16 games, making 3 starts and played 40.3% of the snaps on offense.
The soon to be 27 year old is set to make $760,000 this season. He was originally an undrafted free agent of the Chiefs in 2012. He also spent some time with the Chargers and Redskins before finding his way to Chicago in 2014.