Forgotten Man

Chicago has seen several free agents sign elsewhere this off-season, but the loss of tight end Kaseem Sinceno could hurt more than most would think.

The Bears are weak at tight end and need to add talent to a crop that includes Fred Baxter, John Davis, Dustin Lyman and Luther Broughton. Jerry Angelo will look for a tight end in the draft, but the solution to the team?s woes at the position may have just signed with the expansion Houston Texans. Terms of the Sinceno's deal were not disclosed.

Sinceno, who spent the entire 2001 regular season on injured reserve due to a broken leg he suffered in the team's second preseason game (Aug. 11), came on strong at the end of 2000. He started the final eleven games of the year making 23 receptions for 206 yards for an average of 9.5 yards per catch. Sinceno was also an adequate blocker, which gave him the advantage over the Bears current group of tight ends.

Baxter is a better blocker than Sinceno and made 22 catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns, but averaged just 6.7 yards per reception and will turn 31 in June. Davis was used sparingly last season and may not be back with the team. Lyman hasn?t been on the game day roster consistently, yet has the athleticism to be a quality target as a receiver. Broughton is the wildcard of the group because he played under offensive coordinator John Shoop, while at Carolina. He made just three catches for the Panthers in 2001. In 1999 when Broughton was with the Eagles he had a career high 26 receptions for 295 yards and four touchdowns.

Sinceno is the fourth Bear to become a member of the Texans. Linebacker Greg Jones and running back James Allen both signed with Houston as free agents. Danny Wuerffel was selected by the Texans in the expansion draft and then traded to the Redskins.

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