Chicago Bears tight end Adam Shaheen has been a disappointment in his three seasons. Will the team still use him in 2020 or will they cut him before the first snap of the season?
The Chicago Bears envisioned tight end Adam Shaheen as a Rob Gronkowski type of player when they drafted him. They picked him up in the second round, despite playing in Division II Ashland Univerity. He didn’t face much competition and usually was the biggest man on the field.
Well, Shaheen hasn’t lived up to the billing. He’s only played 27 career games, making 26 catches for 249 yards and 4 touchdowns. He’s missed almost as many games (21). Here is an example of how bad he’s been — of the 136 tight ends taken in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft from 1999-2019, Shaheen’s 26 career receptions rank 111th.
This offseason, the Bears signed veteran tight ends Jimmy Graham and Demetrius Harris then went out and drafted former Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet with their first pick at 43rd overall. That means the writing is on the wall for Shaheen, right?
Don’t sign that death certificate for Shaheen’s career just yet.
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Shaheen is still on the roster, Of course, so are eight more tight ends. Most of those players will end up being training camp bodies (whenever training camp starts) and likely won’t even be around long enough to see the final cut.
That could still be the case for Shaheen, or the Bears could find a trade partner. Also, stay with me now, they could actually have plans for him.
Aside from costing the Chicago Bears some expensive draft capital, Shaheen won’t cost the team much in salary cap money. He costs the team $1.89 million against the cap. If the Bears ultimately cut him, they save $1.27 million. That means if the Bears still have some hope for him they could keep him as an inexpensive option. Additionally, he’s in the final year of his rookie contract so they have no obligation for him past this season.
Will a new coach help Shaheen?
The Bears might still be willing to give Shaheen another shot. New tight ends coach Clancy Barone has hopes for him.
#Bears TE coach Clancy Barone says he still thinks Adam Shaheen has a bright future and has plans for him in the offense.”
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) June 17, 2020
Of course, we should take what coaches say in the offseason with a grain of salt. They try to hype their players and give fans hope for the season. Remember how we hear every offseason that Mitchell Trubisky improved so much that he’ll break out?
Barone went on about Shaheen.
Here’s a guy I absolutely loved when he was in college, I thought a fantastic prospect. I mean the guy is physical. His height, his length, everything about the guy is what you want. Now, for whatever reason, did he have a hiccup here or there, injuries, whatever else? I don’t know that.
Let’s see if Barone has some magic in him and becomes the guy who finally gets the best out of Shaheen. Two other coaches failed to reach him, and last season head coach Matt Nagy even questioned Shaheen’s work ethic.
If Shaheen finds his way and plays up to the expectations the Chicago Bears’ tight ends unit can turn around and become a positive and not the negative it was last season.