TE Marcedes Lewis Re-Signs With Bears

JUNE 12: Lewis agreed to a one-year, $2MM deal, according to KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson. These terms match Lewis’ 2023 Bears agreement. The Bears are guaranteeing the 40-year-old tight end $1MM, with part of that sum a $400K signing bonus.

JUNE 9: There are lots of new faces coming to the Bears offense in 2024 with running back D’Andre Swift, wide receiver Keenan Allen, and center Coleman Shelton joining last year’s veteran addition of D.J. Moore. There’s also plenty of youth being infused as top-10 picks Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze arrive in Chicago, as well. With so much change in the locker room, the coaching staff will be happy to see veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis return in 2024.

Lewis informed Jay Glazer of FOX Sports he will meet with the Bears on Monday with the intention to re-sign in Chicago. On the same day that we see Darren Waller retire after nine years in the league, the NFL’s second-longest-tenured player announces that he intends to return for Year 19. With Lewis being a first-round pick out of UCLA in 2006, only Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (drafted in 2005) has been in the NFL longer than he.

Lewis spent the majority of his career in Jacksonville, playing 12 years with the Jaguars. He would finally leave Duval for Green Bay, signing three one-year contracts followed by a two-year deal in five seasons with the Packers. Lewis waited until the final month before the season in 2023 to sign with the Bears, breaking the record for most seasons played by a tight end in NFL history. He’ll presumably continue to expand that legacy in 2024.

Lewis has never been a relatively productive tight end. Including a Pro Bowl season in 2010 that saw Lewis record career-highs in catches (58), yards (700), and touchdowns (10), Lewis has only broken the 500-yard receiving mark three times and caught more than four touchdowns twice. Since 2012, he hasn’t recorded over 400 yards in a season, and since leaving Jacksonville, his highest yardage total in a season has been 214.

None of that is to say that Lewis is not a strong contributor, even as he enters his age-40 season. Just last year saw Lewis grade out as the league’s fifth-best tight end, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), thanks to some stellar blocking grades, something for which Lewis has been known throughout his career. Despite his dwindling receiving contributions in the last several years, Lewis has remained a starter in most seasons. After starting four games in his first season with the Packers, Lewis became a full-time starter for the next three and a half years.

Lewis started four games in Chicago while appearing in every contest last year. He saw minimal targets, catching fewer than 10 passes for the second straight season but still saw significant snaps as TE2 for the Bears behind Cole Kmet. With Kmet as a premier receiving tight end, finishing ninth in receiving yards for the position last year, the Bears don’t need Lewis to be the every-down tight end he once was in his career. But his vast years of experience have clearly made him an asset in the locker room as he continues to get contracts in the NFL.

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