More than one year removed from trading Martellus Bennett to the New England Patriots, the Chicago Bears have thrown a bunch of darts at a wall in hopes that something sticks at tight end.
The team started the offseason by signing free agent Dion Sims to a multi-year deal, while hoping the block-first tight end develops into a two-way player by improving on the pass catching skills he flashed sparingly with the Miami Dolphins. Then, the Bears doubled-up on the position, following by adding second-round pick Adam Shaheen through the NFL Draft.
And then, there’s Franko House:
Charlie Clifford of WISH-TV has the scoop on the Bears’ newest tight end project.
House is a former college basketball standout who wrapped up his Ball State career finishing in the top 10 in scoring and rebounds. Listed at 6-foot-6, 248 pounds, House averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds as a senior. Now, he hopes he can use his frame and soft hands as well on the gridiron as he did on the hardwood.
House received interest from several teams in the offseason, but settled on the Bears – a team in search of playmakers who can contribute by any means necessary in the passing game. The Bears are littered with unproven pass catchers at tight end and wide receiver, so if House can develop quickly and get a rapport with the quarterbacks, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see him lined up and in a position to make plays.
No, not every basketball player who turns in his sneakers for shoulder pads turns into Tony Gonzales, Jimmy Graham, or Antonio Gates. But the Bears are in a place where they can take a risk and see if they can find their own diamond in the rough at the position.
The Elkhart, Ind. native played high school football and turned down Central Michigan to play basketball. So it’s not as if he’s completely new to football either. Surely there will be some growing pains in getting reacquainted with the game, but he seems to be looking forward to it.
And if all else fails, he has one of football’s coolest names. So if he succeeds, that will make this whole adventure all the more fun.