Chicago Bears: TEs to target if team can’t land Hooper

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Eric Ebron
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

FA Tight End #1: Eric Ebron

If the Bears can’t land Hooper, former Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron is the next best option for the team to sign. Ebron is a young, dynamic pass-catcher who’s come back from the brink of draft bust status.

Ebron struggled during his time on the Detroit Lions, leading the team to cut him in 2018. The Colts signed Ebron to a two-year contract that offseason. Ebron flourished during his time with the Colts, especially in 2018 when he caught 13 touchdowns.

Last season was more of a struggle for Ebron as he dealt with a nagging ankle injury. He reportedly played through the injury until late November when he had season-ending surgery to repair his ankle.

Despite Ebron not assigning any blame for the injury to the Colts training staff, there was a dispute between Ebron and Colts coach Frank Reich. Reich claimed that Ebron practiced with the injury and looked fine right up until the week he needed surgery.

There’s some debate about who’s to blame for the lack of information regarding Ebron’s injury. The tight end maintains the team knew about the injury in September. Ebron was only listed on the team’s injury report once last season with an ankle injury.

The controversial exit may cost Ebron a bit of money, but that’s an advantage for the Bears if he comes with a cheaper price tag. It doesn’t appear as though teams will avoid Ebron based on the injury issue with the Colts.

Bears GM Ryan Pace needs to make an aggressive offer for Ebron when free agency officially opens next week. He may be the most realistic shot at the team having a solid pass-catching tight end next season.