Josh Hill Signed to Bears Offer Sheet: Latest Contract Details, Reaction

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2016

New Orleans Saints tight end Josh Hill (89) reacts after his touchdown reception as Tennessee Titans cornerback Coty Sensabaugh (24) covers in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

ESPN.com's Field Yates reported, per a source, on Tuesday that the Chicago Bears have signed New Orleans Saints restricted free agent Josh Hill to an offer sheet. The Saints have five days to match the offer. 

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears offered Hill a three-year deal, which came a few days after he visited the team on Friday. 

The Bears are in need of a tight end after they dealt Martellus Bennett to the New England Patriots for a 2016 fourth-round draft pick. Because the Saints are so tight against the cap, per Biggs, they might not be able to match Chicago's offer for Hill.

However, Hill hasn't shown that he can be a No. 1 at the position based on his first three seasons in the NFL

Martellus Bennett vs. Josh Hill 2015 Stats Comparison
8.3Yards Per Catch7.5


He does bring some depth to the position behind Zach Miller, who stepped in and racked up 439 yards on the season when Bennett's campaign ended early with fractured ribs

General manager Ryan Pace told Biggs that Miller "has the ability to be the team's No. 1 tight end" after he re-signed with the team on a two-year deal on March 14. 

Miller appearing in 15 games last season was also huge for the Bears after injuries kept him off of the field for three whole seasons from 2012 to 2014. 

If injuries were to pop up for Miller, Hill's presence in Chicago could be some insurance that the Bears at least have a capable body to line up at tight end. But it could be a trial by fire, as Hill has never had more than 16 receptions in a single season. 

Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com