Chicago Bears sign veteran TE Marcedes Lewis, per report

Lewis, 39, will begin his 18th NFL season

LAKE FOREST – The Bears weren’t done after adding a veteran pass rusher late Thursday night. Early Friday morning, the team agreed to a contract with free agent tight end Marcedes Lewis, according to a report from the NFL Network.

The 39-year-old Lewis will begin his 18th NFL season, which would set a record for the most seasons by an NFL tight end. Lewis is currently tied with Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez at 17 seasons.

Lewis spent the past five seasons with the Green Bay Packers. He comes to Chicago after working with Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy when the two were previously together in Green Bay. Lewis was also a mentor and tutor for current Bears tight end Robert Tonyan when Tonyan first came into the league with the Packers.

The move comes roughly 12 hours after news broke that the Bears were signing veteran pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue. Ngakoue should be a premier edge rusher for a Bears defense that was in desperate need of someone who can disrupt the quarterback.

The addition of Lewis gives the Bears a sizable tight end – 6-foot-6, 267 pounds – who is here primarily to be a blocker. Though he has caught 432 passes for 5,084 yards and 39 touchdowns over the course of his 17 seasons, he caught only six passes all of last season, despite playing in and starting all 17 games. In five seasons with Green Bay, he caught only 57 passes.

But he’s a big body who should be able to give the Bears’ two young tackles, Braxton Jones and Darnell Wright, some help blocking. Even though the Bears traded for receiver DJ Moore and worked to improve the passing game, this offense is still going to be a run-heavy offense. Lewis will help in that regard. He also has shown that he can catch passes and could potentially be valuable in the red zone.

Lewis has been in the league seemingly forever. He was originally drafted with a first-round pick by Jacksonville in 2006, just months after Rex Grossman and the Bears appeared in Super Bowl XLI. Lewis spent his first 12 NFL seasons with the Jaguars, then the next five in Green Bay.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.