The Chicago Bears have added another name to their loaded tight end room. On Monday morning, the team signed James O’Shaughnessy to a one-year deal.
Last season, O’Shaughnessy saw limited playing time. He went down with an ankle injury in Week 2 and didn’t return until after Thanksgiving.
The Kansas City Chiefs selected O’Shaughnessy in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Current Bears GM Ryan Poles was Kansas City’s college scouting coordinator at the time.
Not only does O’Shaughnessy have ties to Poles, but he also has a connection to Chicago. He grew up in Naperville and attended Naperville North before heading to Illinois State for his college career.
James O'Shaughnessy’s career hasn’t been easy by any means. In his two years with the Chiefs, he only had a total of 12 targets. Halfway through the 2017 season, he was traded to the Patriots. He was instantly cut and claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
During his time in Jacksonville, O’Shaughnessy appeared in 57 games, 34 of which were starts. He tallied 104 receptions for 1,022 yards and three touchdowns over his five years there.
A potential concern, O’Shaughnessy suffered a torn ACL that caused him to miss the final 11 games of the 2019 season. However, he recovered for the 2020 season and posted the best numbers of his career. He logged 28 receptions and 262 yards in 13 starts with the Jaguars.
How O’Shaughnessy Fits On The Chicago Bears
While James O’Shaughnessy is coming off injuries this past year and in 2019, he had a strong season sandwiched between. Landing him on a one-year deal is a low-risk, high-reward signing for the Bears.
As Jimmy Graham aged out and off the Bears roster, O’Shaughnessy has an opportunity to be the veteran leader of the tight end room. With Cole Kmet, Ryan Griffin, and Jesper Horsted in the mix, the Bears are young at the position. But those names also possess enough talent to fill the void on the field if O’Shaughnessy underperforms or suffers further injuries.
Justin Fields can expect the new Bears regime to utilize tight ends more. O’Shaughnessy could prove to be a problem in the red zone for defenses.