Sims, Miller in front as Chicago Bears' TEs
The Bears guaranteed $10 million of the $18 million they gave Dion Sims on a three-year contract last month in free agency, so he figures to be a mainstay.
The 6-foot-4, 271-pound Sims has the size and strength that incumbent Zach Miller lacks to be an effective in-line blocker. Sims, 26, was drafted by Miami in the fourth round in 2013 and has been mostly a blocker. But in the Dolphins' final seven games last season, he had 18 of his 26 receptions and caught all 4 of his TD passes.
The 6-foot-5, 243-pound Miller is an excellent receiver, but he has a scary injury history, including a three-year span in which he didn't play a single game because of a variety of ailments. Most recently, Miller spent the final six weeks of the 2016 season on injured reserve with a fractured foot. Prior to the injury, Miller caught 47 passes for 486 yards (10.3-yard average) and 4 touchdowns.
A year earlier, Miller enjoyed a breakout season with 34 catches for 439 yards (12.9-yard average) and 5 touchdowns. Almost all of that production came in the final seven games when Miller moved past Martellus Bennett as the Bears' top pass-catching tight end.
Daniel Brown, who was re-signed on a one-year contract, is the top backup behind Sims and Miller, and Ben Braunecker and MyCole Pruitt are expected to compete for playing time as well.
Brown had 16 catches for 124 yards (7.8-yard average) last season with 1 touchdown. Braunecker caught 4 passes for 41 yards (10.3-yard average) as an undrafted rookie and was a key contributor on special teams. Pruitt caught 1 pass for 6 yards in two late-season games after he was claimed on waivers following his release by the Vikings.
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