Report: Bears to Sign Former Chiefs Tight End Demetrius Harris

Gene Chamberlain

The tight end market is heating up before free agency even begins, and the Bears haven't stayed on the sidelines.

The move seemed obvious from the time Cleveland cut him last week, but tight end Demetrius Harris has signed a one-year deal with the Bears according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The signing hasn't yet been announced officially by the Bears.

The roster addition seemed an obvious one when Harris was cut because he played for Kansas City prior to last season and was there when Matt Nagy was offensive coordinator for the Chiefs.

Harris has characteristics to qualify for both the Y-tight end and the U-tight end positions in the Bears offense.  He has never really been a full-time starter or big-time producer of catches, but used his 6-foot-7 height well in the end zone to make nine touchdown catches and had three in Cleveland last year.

Harris signed a two-year deal for $6 million after 2018 and made 15 receptions for the Browns before the new coaching regime decided he was expendable. 

The U-tight end spot is  where Trey Burton plays and the Y-tight end is Adam Shaheen's position on the line of scrimmage. The Bears use both tight end positions as running game blockers and last year Pro Football Focus rated Harris the ninth-best blocking tight end in the league.

Harris has 72 receptions for 754 yards in his career and joins a roster that already includes Ben Braunecker, Burton, Shaheen, Jesper Horsted, Dax Raymond, Darion Clark and Eric Saubert. Also, J.P. Holtz and Bradley Sowell were on the roster last year but are free agents.

The tight end market seems to be heating up because Redskins tight end Jordan Reed is reportedly going to be available after the team cuts him. This is expected to happen soon, according to various Washington outlets. Some teams may consider signing the former Pro Bowl player a risk because he has been out of the game due to a concussion since 2018.

Reed was in the league six seasons and had three in which he caught 84 passes or more. He caught 116 passes in 2015 and made the Pro Bowl the following year. 

The free agent market already was expected to include tight ends Eric Ebron, Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper. 

Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has said he'd like to continue playing but there is no indication Dallas will sign him.

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