Tajae Sharpe joined the mix at wide receiver for the Chicago Bears to add some veteran flavor. It turns out he’s not the only one. Just minutes after his news came out, Dante Pettis revealed on Twitter that he too is signing a deal with the team. The former 2nd round pick began his career with the San Francisco 49ers in 2018. He showed some initial promise but suffered some health setbacks and never really took off. After that, he spent two seasons with the New York Giants, where he worked with Bears receivers coach Tyke Tolbert.
It is becoming clear what GM Ryan Poles is going for. He is signing younger veteran receivers who showed initial promise earlier in their careers but never managed to take that next step for one reason or another. Pettis had 467 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games as a rookie. Unfortunately, the ascent of Deebo Samuel and the arrival of Emmanuel Sanders in 2019 stole away offensive snaps, and he never got them back. His experience in that system was likely a big reason the Bears were interested, as Luke Getsy plans to run something similar in Chicago.
— dante (@dmainy_13) May 12, 2022
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Dante Pettis has freaky feet; his releases & route-running ability are both pretty spectacular. pic.twitter.com/GDV2VhZKAR
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) May 22, 2019
— NFL (@NFL) February 25, 2019
Suddenly the Bears have an exciting competition developing.
While the top three spots at wide receiver seem set with Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle, and Velus Jones, the same can be said for the rest of the depth chart. There are three or four other spots that appear up for grabs. Dante Pettis will have a chance to battle Sharpe, David Moore, Equanimeous St. Brown, and several undrafted free agents for the opportunity to make the roster.
The 26-year-old isn’t known for blazing speed but has good size and excellent feet. His route-running is above-average, making him a strong contender for the slot receiver position. On top of that, he has a strong background in punt returning. His previous teams never seemed willing to fully exploit that despite nine touchdowns in college. The Bears may look to take advantage of that.