The Bears' tight end position has already seen a number of changes this off-season, and more could be coming after fullback-tight end Evan Rodriguez was arrested for the second time in three months.
Unrestricted free agent Martellus Bennett was signed to a four-year, $20 million deal to give the Bears a Pro Bowl caliber tight end. Last year's starter, Kellen Davis, and top backup, Matt Spaeth, were both released. That appeared to have created an opportunity for Rodriguez, who started three games last season at fullback and two at tight end as a rookie. But the 6-foot-2, 239-pound Rodriguez has been a huge disappointment this off-season.
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Rodriguez was arrested early Friday morning and charged with DUI, speeding and improper lane usage after he was pulled over by Illinois State Police on I-90 at 3:30 a.m., according to officials. In March, although charges were later dropped, he was arrested in Miami Beach for resisting an officer without violence and disorderly intoxication.
Nevertheless, after that arrest, Bears general manager Phil Emery, who drafted Rodriguez in the fourth round last year out of Temple, met with him regarding his behavior. Emery later addressed the situation with reporters.
"Certainly was disappointed in his arrest," Emery said. "Certainly Evan knows that I was disappointed. He was re-educated on my expectation of a Chicago Bear on and off the field, and I certainly expect good things from him. He made an error in a decision as far as where he was at, time and place, fortunately there's been no case moving forward, but I was disappointed in him. He's aware of that and we expect big things from him in terms of improving."
Rodriguez played in 12 games last season and caught 4 passes for 21 yards.
The Bears issued a statement Friday afternoon regarding Rodriguez's most recent arrest.
"We are aware of the reports regarding Evan Rodriguez," the Bears said. "We are currently gathering information to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the situation."
Rodriguez entered the 2012 draft with character concerns. He transferred out of West Virginia following a 2007 incident with a female resident hall advisor in a dormitory. Rodriguez was originally charged with felony assault, but that was reduced to a misdemeanor disturbance and trespassing. After transferring to Temple, he was arrested for disorderly conduct in April of 2009.
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