Former NIU QB Lynch coming to Bears
The Bears would not confirm it Saturday night because the paperwork had not been completed, but they have agreed to a free-agent contract with record-setting Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, who went undrafted.
The 6-foot, 217-pound Lynch, who rushed for 1,920 yards while finishing third in the Heisman Trophy voting, tweeted "BEARDOWN!!!" shortly after the draft concluded. Twice last season the Mount Carmel High School graduate rushed for over 300 yards in a game, rolling up 316 yards against Central Michigan and 321 yards, an FBS-record for a quarterback, against Western Michigan.
Lynch will be a running back for the Bears and has the skill set to be an outstanding special teams player and a Wildcat quarterback. As a junior he became the first player in FBS history to rush for more than 1,500 yards (1,815) and throw for more than 3,000 (3,138), tossing 25 TD passes and just 6 interceptions.
"I think he's a really fine runner," Bears general manager Phil Emery said. "The fact he can throw and throw with accuracy in a short area is good, too. You want as many athletes who can do as many things as possible, and he certainly presents options that way."
Lynch went 24-4 as a two-year starter for the Huskies and completed 61.4 percent of his passes. He averaged 6.4 yards on 586 carries over the previous two seasons.
"The thing that I was really impressed with (is) just his skill as a runner," Emery said. "I saw him live against Western Michigan. He reset his (rushing) record that night. He's got a great set of eyes. He's very instinctive, especially for a quarterback between the tackles.
"He just knows where to find the soft spots and take that little sidestep and keep grinding forward and keep moving forward while he's making his moves. He's got really good contact balance. He doesn't go down easy. I like all those things."