Bears Sign Ex-Jags TE James O’Shaughnessy to Contract To Boost Justin Fields' Offense

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 18, 2022

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end James O'Shaughnessy (80) carries the ball after a reception as he gets tackled by Terrance Mitchell (39) during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
AP Photo/Matt Patterson

The Chicago Bears signed free-agent tight end James O’Shaughnessy to a one-year contract Monday.

O’Shaughnessy, 30, spent the last five seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He recorded 24 receptions for 244 yards in seven games this past season before being placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury.

The Bears previously signed veteran tight end Ryan Griffin after he was released by the New York Jets as a potential backup behind Cole Kmet. Griffin and O’Shaughnessy will likely compete for the backup tight end spot during training camp.

It's unlikely either makes much of a difference in the offense unless Kmet goes down with an injury.

The Bears seem likely to open up their offense to more RPO and spread looks to benefit quarterback Justin Fields, who thrived in a similar system at Ohio State. Those sets rarely use two tight ends, so O’Shaughnessy may have to emerge in camp as the best run-blocker among the group to make the team.