On Tuesday the Chicago Bears tendered one-year contracts to all three of their exclusive rights free agents: tight end Jesper Horsted, center Sam Mustipher, and offensive lineman Lachavious Simmons.
Exclusive rights free agents are players with fewer than three accrued seasons in the NFL and an expired contract. If an ERFA’s original team offers him a one-year deal at the league minimum he’s essentially re-signed, because they can’t negotiate with other teams.
Horsted, a 2019 undrafted free agent, now joins Cole Kmet as the only two tights ends under contract. Last season he tied for third on the team with 2 touchdown catches, and those came on his only 2 receptions. In 7 games last year he played on 6 offensive snaps and 92 snaps on special teams.
Mustipher, who was also 2019 UDFA, has started 24 of the 26 games he’s appeared in the last two years, including all 17 a season ago.
Simmons, a 2020 seventh-round draft pick, started 1 of the 2 games he played in last year.
It was always a no-brainer to bring these three 25-year old players back, and they’ll now have the offseason to impress the new coaching regime.