Brown has signed a contract to return to the Bears in 2018, Adam Hoge of WGN Radio reports. The Bears failed to extend a qualifying offer to Brown before the start of the new league year, so it didn't seem likely he'd be brought back for another go around. However, it's now clear that he'll return to Chicago in 2018. With that said, Brown is firmly behind Adam Shaheen, Dion Sims and the recently-acquired Trey Burton on the depth chart, likely setting him up for a special-teams role.
Brown didn't receive a qualifying offer or minimum tender from the Bears and has become an unrestricted free agent, per the league's official transaction log. Brown was exclusively a special-teams player in 2017 before injuries hit the Bears' tight end corps. Once finally given offensive responsibilities in Week 8, the 25-year-old went on to accrue 13 receptions for 129 yards on 20 targets. While he seemingly isn't an elite talent by any means, Brown should still garner interest on the open market, especially given his relative youth.
Brown didn't see a target in the Week 17 loss to the Vikings and finished the year with 13 receptions (on 20 targets) for 129 yards. Brown has caught a total of 35 passes in 35 NFL games covering four seasons with the Bears and the Ravens. He'll be a restricted free agent this offseason, but with Adam Shaheen and Dion Sims slated to be the primary tight ends in 2018, he'll either continue to serve in a reserve capacity in Chicago or look for a similar role elsewhere.
Brown caught three passes for 32 yards in Saturday's loss to the Lions. Brown was targeted four times, but he didn't see a target until the Bears fell behind 20-3 early in the second half. With Adam Shaheen sitting this one out with a chest injury, Brown caught three passes for the first time this season. Although he's posted at least 20 yards in four of his last six games, his 32-yard effort in this contest represented his highest total of the season. He's been a weak fantasy option.
Brown caught two passes for 23 yards in Chicago's 23-16 loss to the Packers. With Zach Miller (knee) out for the year and Dion Sims missing this game due to illness, Brown was the Bears' most-targeted tight end with three. Despite his involvement, he's little more than an outlet option for Mitch Trubisky, and unless his role grows significantly, he's not a very useful fantasy option.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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