Tight ends were the stars of the NFL this past season. Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski made headlines and broke records. Chicago bucked -- or fell behind -- the trend because the Mike Martz offense used Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth mainly as blockers. They were rarely used to catch.
Davis' 18 catches for 206 yards and five touchdowns paled in comparison to Gronkowski's league-leading 90 catches for 1,327 yards. In fact, the Bears' top two receivers, Johnny Knox and Roy Williams, couldn't even combine to top Gronk. The Bears need extra hands on a tall body. With Mike Martz gone, wouldn't a big tight end who can make crucial catches in the red zone be perfect?
Kellen Davis is the Bears' guy. Under Martz, he didn''t have the chance to show his hands enough. He is a free agent, but with Lovie Smith recently made positive comments about him. There's no reason to believe the Bears won't re-sign him.
If Chicago wants to add a tight end to give themselves another option, their choices are slim both in the draft and free agency. What's most frustrating to know is that the Bears had a reliable tight end with good hands on the team: first-round draft pick Greg Olsen, who was traded the Carolina before the start of last season.
In giving up Olsen, the Bears said goodbye to one of Jay Cutler's favorite targets. Even under Martz, he had 41 catches for 404 yards in 2010. He was reliable in the red zone. But he was traded away so that the Bears could bring in Spaeth, a tight end who would fit better in Martz's system.
By the end of the season, both Martz and Olsen were gone, and the Bears are stuck with few options at a position that has become one of the most important in the league.