Bears Re-Sign WR Dante Pettis

The Bears have made one major addition to their receiving corps already this offseason, but a familiar face will remain in the fold as well. The team announced on Monday that Dante Pettis has been re-signed on a one-year deal.

The 27-year-old signed in Chicago last offseason, making the Bears his third NFL employer. Pettis began his career with the 49ers, failing to live up to his second-round draft stock during his brief tenure there. His rookie campaign in San Francisco remains his most productive one on offense (27 catches, 467 yards, five touchdowns), though it wasn’t enough to prevent the team from waiving him in November 2020.

That move paved the way for the Washington product to join the Giants. New York presented an opportunity for Pettis to secure a larger workload, but his playing time remained that of a rotational player in the Big Apple both in 2020 and his only full campaign there in 2021. He thus arrived in Chicago last year with tempered expectations.

On offense, he was once again in a role other than that of a full-time starter, logging a 51% snap share. Pettis was able to translate that into his second most productive campaign, though, recording a 19/245/3 statline. His three touchdowns ranked second on the team, but his contributions weren’t limited to the offensive side of the ball last season.

Pettis operated as the Bears’ primary punt returner in 2022, the first time he had held that role for any significant span since his rookie campaign. He totaled 163 yards on 18 runbacks, good for an average of 9.1 yards per return. That effectiveness fell short of his special teams prowess showed in college, but it will be enough for the 6-1, 195-pounder to remain in the Windy City for at least one more year.

The Bears entered the offseason in need of pass catching upgrades, something which was achieved with D.J. Moore being part of the package they received from the Panthers in return for the first overall pick in this year’s draft. Pettis will be in line for a much smaller workload than Moore, of course, but he will look to at least replicate his 2022 performance as the Bears look to take a needed step forward in the passing game this year.

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