McHenry native Robert Tonyan signs with Minnesota Vikings

Tonyan joins Vikings following one season with Bears

Chicago Bears tight end Robert Tonyan gets loose before their preseason game against the Tennessee Titans in August 2023 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Former Bears tight end and McHenry native Robert Tonyan signed a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday.

Tonyan spent the 2023 season with the Bears following five years with the Green Bay Packers. The 30-year-old tight end has appeared in 85 NFL games with 24 career starts.

Including a brief stint with the Detroit Lions during training camp in 2017, Tonyan will now have been employed by all four NFC North division teams.

With the Bears last season, the passing attack struggled mightily and finished ranked 27th out of 32 teams. There weren’t a lot of passes to go around for multiple tight ends. Tonyan finished the season with 11 catches for 112 yards on 17 targets. Those numbers were second among Bears tight ends behind only Cole Kmet (73 catches, 719 yards, six touchdowns).

With a new offensive coaching staff in Chicago, the Bears elected to let Tonyan go.

Tonyan joins a Vikings team that features starting tight end T.J. Hockenson. The 26-year-old Hockenson will still be the featured tight end after finishing last year with 95 catches for 960 yards and five touchdowns. But Tonyan could have an opportunity to emerge as the second or third option at the position.

For his career, Tonyan has totaled 148 receptions for 1,549 yards and 17 touchdowns. The vast majority of those catches came with Green Bay, where he played with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Tonyan totaled a career-high 11 touchdowns in 2020.

Tonyan grew up in McHenry and played college football at Indiana State.

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.