Overview: It’s unclear how many tight ends the Bears plan to keep in 2014, but if the club’s roster headed into the 2013 regular-season finale against Green Bay is any indication, it won’t be many.
The Bears entered the final game of last season with two tight ends on the active roster in Martellus Bennett and Dante Rosario. Interestingly, the club seems to have more competition at the position than ever under general manager Phil Emery with the additions of Matthew Mulligan and Jeron Mastrud.
Bennett and Miller are proven as receiving tight ends, but neither is considered a dominating blocker. Rosario is a solid all-around tight end, but doesn’t excel in any one area, while Mulligan is considered a classic in-line blocker.
Battle to watch: Rosario will end up having to hold off the other tight ends, and all of his competitors are stronger than him in certain elements of the game. But Rosario is a consistent all-around performer. Obviously, Bennett is the only lock at tight end to make this roster.
Dark horse: Miller showed promise earlier in his career, catching 41 passes for 428 yards over his first two years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. But Miller has been more of a move tight end throughout his career because his 236-pound frame isn’t conducive to being a consistent in-line blocker.
Who makes the cut: More than likely the Bears will keep three tight ends, which means Bennett automatically makes the roster. It’s likely the club keeps Mulligan because even though his specialty is blocking, he’s sufficient enough as a receiving threat. Rosario seems the most likely to take that third spot because he’d be the safe pick, although Mastrud does have starting experience from his days in Oakland and Miami.