Bellamy resigned with the Bears on Thursday, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports. The Bears offered Bellamy, an exclusive rights free agent, a contract, which ensures he'll don dark navy and orange in the fall. Corralling the first balls of his career in 2015 due to the banged-up nature of the receiving corps, he's primarily served in a special-teams role and even ranked second on the team with 10 tackles this past season. After Alshon Jeffery received the franchise tag last week, Bellamy still has many hurdles to pass in order to make an impact as a wideout in Chicago.
Bellamy recorded 19 catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns during the 2015 season. Bellamy was active for all 16 games and even saw a couple of starts at wide receiver due to an assortment of injuries, but he rarely provided much of an impact. Still, Bellamy is a valued member of the Bears' special teams units, and that skill may be enough for him to retain a roster spot coming out of training camp next season.
Bellamy will be one of the Bears' starting wideouts in Sunday's game against the Lions, ESPN Chicago's Jeff Dickerson reports. Bellamy filled in for Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) last week against the Buccaneers, catching two balls for 10 yards. With Jeffery and Eddie Royal (illness) both ruled out for the season finale, Bellamy could stand to see increased targets, but it's more likely the Bears rely more heavily on the ground game.
Bellamy is expected to enter the starting lineup for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers with Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) inactive. Bellamy, who caught one ball for seven yards on his two targets during last week's loss to the Vikings, should see his snap count increase exponentially Sunday. However, in his previous start back on Dec. 6 against the 49ers, Bellamy made only one catch for 16 yards, so he's not expected to see much volume in the passing game, in spite of his uptick in field time.
Bellamy played only three offensive snaps and didn't see a target in Sunday's 24-21 loss to the Redskins. After starting for the Bears a week earlier against the 49ers when Eddie Royal (knee) and Marquess Wilson (foot) were out, Bellamy plummeted all the way to the fifth spot on the depth chart in Sunday's game. All of Alshon Jeffery (56 snaps), a now-healthy Royal (53), Marc Mariani (53), and Deonte Thompson (five) all ranked ahead of Bellamy in playing time.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/21||@Green Bay Packers||13||21.00|
|10||11/13||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||27||24.63|
|11||11/20||@New York Giants||23||23.88|
|13||12/04||San Francisco 49ers||18||22.38|
|15||12/18||Green Bay Packers||13||21.00|
|3 Year Avg||12||6||75||1||3||12.50||13|