The Chicago Bears' offense did pretty well in Marc Trestman's first year at the helm, finishing second in the NFL in scoring, eighth in total offense and fifth in passing. As a result, GM Phil Emery has gone out of his way this offseason to keep Trestman's offense intact.
He started by re-signing Jay Cutler and Matt Slauson a few days after season's end. He followed that up by yesterday giving Roberto Garza a new one-year contract. Finally, Emery finished the day be re-signing Dante Rosario, the team's primary backup tight end last year.
Rosario was a decent player for the Bears in 2013 and he's solid on special teams, but this signing has less to do with Rosario's talent and more to do with preserving offensive continuity.
Trestman inherited a talented offense and worked with Emery last year to fill the gaps, which includes Rosario, who wasn't even on the team's opening-day roster. After a trio of backup tight ends failed to impress during training camp, Emery found Rosario in free agency and the seven-year veteran carved our a role in Trestman's offense. It isn't a big role - Rosario played just 186 snaps in 15 contest last year, or roughly 12 snaps per game, primarily as a blocking tight end - but it was a role in which he was adequate enough to earn another one-year deal.
The thinking here is two-fold: by keeping the offense intact, a good group has the potential to become great in Trestman's second season; and by locking up the offense, Emery can focus solely on the defense in both free agency and the draft. With so many needs on the defensive side of the ball, Emery doesn't want to be wasting his time signing bodies to fill minor roles on offense. Instead, he's locking up those players now so the defense can have his full attention on March 11 and beyond.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is entering his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.