Overlooked

Most overlook the importance of players like Joe Tafoya on a 53-man roster. While he doesn't garner the pub that starters do on Sunday, his value to the team should not be overlooked.

If you look at Tafoya's stats there's nothing that jumps out. He had just 10 tackles (6 solos), but finished second in special teams takedowns with 14.

If you put your binoculars on Tafoya during the special teams phase of the game you'll begin to understand why the Bears need to retain the veteran.

Tafoya played a key role in the middle of the wedge that helped Jerry Azumah lead the NFL in kick returns and earn a trip to the Pro Bowl.

From the coverage aspect, Tafoya is fearless and will use his body in any manner necessary to get to the ball carrier.

In an age where specialists have become the norm, Tafoya is a versatile performer that can fill in at end or tackle.

All this being said Tafoya is not going to command a lot of money on the open market. As a restricted free agent the Bears will likely offer him a low tender of $600,000. Chances are he'll be back in a Bear uniform considering that Jerry Angelo brought him to Chicago in the first place.


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