When starting tight end, Zach Miller, went down with a broken foot last November, Daniel Brown stepped into the fold. Evidently, he impressed the Bears enough in that late six-game stretch to bring him back on a one-year deal Monday afternoon.
Across 14 games in two NFL seasons with the Ravens and Bears, the 24-year-old Brown has 22 receptions for 188 yards and a touchdown. He enjoyed the bulk of that production with Chicago in his injury replacement stint. Among some early highlights for the young tight end were where he scored his first career touchdown against the Titans and when he recorded a career high six receptions against the Lions.
Brown will be seen as a valued competitor on Chicago’s tight end depth chart as he grows more acclimated to the NFL. Full details of Brown’s contract have not been disclosed.
In other news, the Bears also tendered exclusive rights to special teamer, Joshua Bellamy, and nickel cornerback, Bryce Callahan. The tenders for both will have Chicago paying Bellamy and Callahan $615,000 each. Given the provisions, if other teams want to pry either exclusive rights free agent away from Chicago, the Bears will now have the opportunity to match any offer before these two would sign. There are different level tenders that award different draft picks to the tender placing team should they elect to not match an offer and release said tender.
Needless to say, given the cheap price, both will be in Chicago in 2017. For the Bears, both benefit in maintaining the same scenery.
Bellamy is seen as one of Chicago’s best contributors on special teams. He even contributed as a depth receiver when injuries struck last season with a career high 282 receiving yards and 19 receptions to go with one touchdown. Meanwhile, should the former 2015 undrafted free agent in Callahan enjoy better fortune with health, he can become more than a quality starter for the Bears as their nickel cornerback. The talent and effort is certainly there.
With that, the official negotiation period begins on Tuesday and runs through Wednesday for NFL teams and upcoming free agents. Deals can be discussed in advance of the 2017 league year officially beginning on Thursday. Expect a flurry of moves from not only the Bears but across the league.
Robert Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for the Rock River Times and is a staff writer for Windy City Gridiron and Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.