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Bears sign Pat O’Donnell to one-year extension

The Bears will be bringing back a familar face on their special teams unit.

NFL: Preseason-Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears have signed punter Pat O’Donnell to a one-year contract extension, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported on Friday. The financial terms of the contract have yet to be disclosed.

The move comes just one day after the Bears signed Cairo Santos to what is essentially a three-year contract extension. After locking up their kicker for the 2021 season and beyond, they have now done so for another key specialist, as well.

O’Donnell, 30, will be entering his eighth season with the Bears in 2021. A sixth-round draft pick in 2014, the Miami alumnus has missed just one game throughout the entirety of his NFL career. He is currently Chicago’s all-time leader with 45 yards per punt, and he placed fifth in the league last year with 28 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Chicago’s re-signing of O’Donnell was to be expected, as he has been a pretty reliable constant on special teams and hasn’t indicated that he needs to be replaced any time soon. The Bears have now given him three short-term deals since his rookie contract expired in 2017, having now signed two one-year deals, as well a two-year deal in 2019.

Along with fellow 2014 draft picks Kyle Fuller and Charles Leno Jr., O’Donnell is tied as the second-longest tenured player on the Bears’ roster. He trails just Sherrick McManis, who joined the team in 2012 and will be a free agent this offseason.