The Bears have officially parted ways with their former second-round pick in the 2017 draft, tight end Adam Shaheen. Widely considered to be a bust, Shaheen never had the breakout general manager Ryan Pace had hoped for, and now the team has traded Shaheen to the Miami Dolphins, per Pro Football Talk. NFL insider Tom Pelissero confirmed the news minutes later. The Bears will reportedly receive a conditional 2021 sixth-round draft pick in exchange for Shaheen.
Ryan Pace selected Shaheen in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft with the 45th overall pick. Shaheen attended Ashland University, a Division II school, which was a red flag, but Pace took a chance on the 6’6″ 257-pounder nonetheless. Shaheen entered the draft with the nickname “Baby Gronk,” but unfortunately for Pace and the Bears, he never really lived up to that nickname on the field.
Bears TE Coach Clancy Barone Recently Said Shaheen Had a Role in Offense
New Bears tight ends coach Clancy Barone told the media via zoom early in July that the team had big plans for Shaheen this upcoming season.
“Here’s a guy I absolutely loved when he was in college,” Barone said about Shaheen. “I thought a fantastic prospect. I remember talking with (former Bears head coach) John Fox about him and Foxy said, ‘He looks exactly how tight ends should look.’ And he’s right. I mean, the guy is physical. Everything about him, his height, his length, everything about the guy is what you want. For whatever reason did he have a hiccup here or there, injuries, whatever else? He’s a guy who has a very bright future still. I would not say any more than just Adam is a guy I think has a very very bright future, and I’ve got plans for him to do things in our offense.”
But Barone was downplaying the severity of Shaheen’s injury history — it kept him off the field far too much, and was a concern literally every season he played. It had to be a factor in the team’s decision to release him.
Bears Traded Shaheen Because of Injuries, Unfulfilled Potential — And to Save Cap Space
The Bears will save $1.2 million in cap space by sending Shaheen to Miami, which they desperately need more of. In his three seasons with the Bears, Shaheen has started just 13 games, a signifier of how much he was off the field due to injury. He dealt with a foot sprain last season, he began the 2018 season on injured reserve with foot and ankle injuries, and he also missed time during his rookie campaign with a chest injury. He was also a healthy scratch for multiple games in 2019, which was concerning.
The Bears signed Shaheen to a four-year, $5.91 million rookie contract, so the Dolphins will pick up the remaining $1.2 million he’s due. Shaheen caught 26 passes for 249 yards and four touchdowns during his three years in Chicago.