Packers lose starting tight end to Bears in free agency

Green Bay Packers, Robert Tonyan (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Robert Tonyan (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Death, taxes, and the NFC North signing Green Bay Packers free agents.

It’s a March tradition.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Packers free-agent tight end Robert Tonyan is signing a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

Aaron Rodgers won’t be playing for the Packers this season, and now one of his top targets is also gone.

This doesn’t come as a surprise. The Packers desperately need to get better at tight end, and it seems they are prepared to start over.

Another starter at tight end, Marcedes Lewis, remains a free agent. Lewis reuniting with Aaron Rodgers in New York would make a lot of sense.

For now, it means that Josiah Deguara and recently-re-signed Tyler Davis are the Packers’ top two tight ends.

Tonyan was initially signed as an undrafted free agent by the Detroit Lions in 2017. He was released later that year before landing in Green Bay.

It was there that he got an opportunity.

Tonyan showed potential in a backup role before a breakout season in 2020. He caught 52 passes for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns that year, proving to be one of Aaron Rodgers’ favorite targets, especially in the red zone.

However, Tonyan’s 2021 season was cut short due to injury.

This past season, he caught 53 passes for 470 yards and two touchdowns. While he was still a reliable receiving option, Tonyan averaged a career-low 8.9 yards per reception.

Tonyan helps provide tight end depth alongside Cole Kmet in Chicago, while Green Bay has decided to start over at the position.

The Packers will need to add a tight end or two in either free agency or the draft.