Bears meet with free-agent return specialist DeAndre Carter

Image of DeAndre Carter

The Chicago Bears haven’t been very active in free agency this year. Their biggest signings include wide receiver Byron Pringle and center Lucas Patrick. Neither player is a household name yet both are expected to be key contributors in 2022.

It was an underwhelming March that, hopefully, will transform into an April full of excitement. The Bears have two second-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, and they’re expected to use them on players who will help quarterback Justin Fields next season. It’ll take a few more weeks of patience until we find out who those players will be.

In the meantime, the Bears are kicking the tires on potential Jakeem Grant replacements on special teams. They hosted veteran DeAndre Carter on a visit Monday, who’s bounced around the league quite a bit entering his fifth season. Carter’s played for four teams, including a brief stint with the Bears in 2020. He appeared in four games that season for Chicago.

The 28-year-old has 79 career punt returns on his resume and returned one of his 81 career kickoff returns for a touchdown. The Bears’ lack of depth at wide receiver and running back has created a big void in the return game, but there’s a good chance that role will be filled by a rookie next year.

Still, adding a veteran special-teamer like Carter isn’t the worst strategy. It won’t move the needle or get Bears fans fired up, but he’d be a reliable piece for the game’s third phase.

Carter was scheduled to visit the Los Angeles Chargers Tuesday.

Bryan Perez

Bryan is the founder of Pro Football Draft. His work has been featured on The Draft Network, NBC Sports and USA Today. Former CFL scout.

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