Ryan Poles said one of his goals this off-season was to get certain players on the roster extended. This would likely happen around August. People have speculated which names may get such attention. Jaylon Johnson is one possibility. Darnell Mooney is another. However, most would agree the heavy favorite is Cole Kmet. The young tight end had a breakout season in 2022, going for over 500 yards receiving with seven touchdown catches. His connection with Justin Fields became obvious as the year progressed.
It seems like an easy decision. The Bears want to reward their own players for productive play. However, Poles has already shown a tendency to unload former Ryan Pace draft picks. Roquan Smith was traded. David Montgomery was allowed to leave in free agency. Both were big contributors last season too. Maybe it’s wrong to assume Kmet, another Pace pick, is a strong certainty of getting a new deal. Courtney Cronin of ESPN poured more cold water on this idea with this recent update about new addition Robert Tonyan.
“Tonyan, who has a career a 77.8% catch rate and averages 10.5 yards per reception, has the Bears eager about his ability to stretch the field. I’m hearing that Chicago coaches envision fellow tight end Cole Kmet playing more of the “Y” position, where he’ll be counted on as a blocker. Kmet is eligible for an extension this offseason. Keep an eye on how this affects what the Bears opt to do with a potential second contract.”
Maybe the Bears don’t believe Cole Kmet fits their vision.
Luke Getsy has spoken glowingly about the young tight end since he first arrived in Chicago. Fields loves him as well. Still, Poles is the one making the decisions. Remember, he came from Kansas City, where he watched the likes of Tony Gonzalez and Travis Kelce rip up defenses for over a decade. That is his template when thinking about the tight end position. Kmet is a solid all-around player, but he isn’t on the same level as those two as an athlete or pass-catcher. He is not a difference-maker. Poles may not want to pay him like one.
Signing Tonyan might be the Bears’ way of securing insurance if Cole Kmet decides to play hardball in negotiations. He may seek a number they deem far too steep for his value. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. Poles assigns a specific dollar amount to every player he negotiates with. He never goes over that number. If they want more, he’s content to trade them (Smith) or let them walk (Montgomery). Kmet won’t be any different.
What team keeps only 1 good TE on its roster?!?
A lot of good TEs coming out of college this year.
No worries, Kmet and his whole family are MASSIVE Bears fans. Cole would play for the Bears for free if it meant remaining on the team. Not joking, Kmet might just be the easiest contract negotiations the Bears ever have.
hes ok, never really saw why people think hes so great. only thing is hes still young af so Iwouldnt mind an extenstion for cheapish but if hes asking anything close to what the tight ends with real names are getting id pass. remember this is supposed to be a great te draft too.
Poles spoke glowing about Kmet as well at his end of season press conference. Nothing to see here. Kmet and Tonyon are both solid if the QB can get the ball out and will make each other better.