The Bears Sign … Michael Gaines?

Journeyman tight end makes no sense, or does he?

Yesterday, we briefly discussed the notion that Amani Toomer, former Giants wide receiver, could be a target for the Bears this offseason. The Bears may have called Toomer, though they're denying it; at the very least, there is interest from Amani's people in potentially securing a Jerry Angelo-signed check for Mr. Toomer.

The whole point is that the Bears probably need a wide receiver. Their current corp is young and unproven, and even if it's just a short-term patch like Toomer, the Bears should probably find a solution to those woes, and quickly.

So of course they went out, put their money where our mouths were, and signed ... fourth tight end Michael Gaines? What now?

At first, it makes very little sense. Why sign yet another tight end? The Bears already have Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen and second-year player Kellen Davis, who struggled last season but who is still probably worth a little patience, seeing as he's just a third tight end, and the franchise isn't exactly riding on his speedy development. And yet, the Bears sign another tight end, a former Lions guy whose main skill lies in blocking well from the end position. OK then.

But here's a possible strategy. The Bears have looked to put Greg Olsen -- who really is a wideout in a receiver's body -- in split formations and on the edge. And why not? Olsen's best at catching the ball. So perhaps by slotting another tight end on the roster, the Bears can better utilize Olsen's skills by making him a defacto wideout. It's not as good as having an honest-to-goodness receiver there. You sort of lose some of the value of having a skilled tight end if you have to make him a wideout. But it is, above all else, an option.

Maybe that's not what the Bears had in mind. Maybe we're just making crap up. But it's as good an explanation as any we can think of.

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, Follow him on Twitter.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us