The Chicago Bears reached one-year deals with free agents, wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and safety Tashaun Gipson, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Ginn is ranked 25th in NFL history with 15,685 total yards, including 5,072 for receptions, nearly 10,000 in kickoff and punt returns and 42 touchdowns.
Ginn’s deal was first reported by the NFL Network and Gipson’s was reported by the Houston Chronicle.RELATED
Ginn, 35, was cut by the New Orleans Saints after the team signed Emmanuel Sanders in free agency, but after 13 seasons, Ginn said he had no intention of retiring.
Chicago had a clear need at catching position after cutting veteran Taylor Gabriel, who was fourth in the Bears in receptions last year, but lost much of the season with several concussions. In 2018, Gabriel set a personal mark with 67 passes caught for 688 yards.
Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and Cordarrelle Patterson are receivers who are sure to be on the Bears’ 53-player roster, but the team is shallow at the position in 2020. Ginn will compete for the place as fourth or fifth receiver against Javon Wims, the 2019 draft fourth round pick Riley Ridley, 2020 draft pick Darrelle Mooney and veteran Trevor Davis, who was signed on Wednesday.
Ted Ginn Jr. Getty Images / Jacob Kupferman
Although his start to his career was slow with the Miami Dolphins as the No. 9 pick in the 2007 draft, Ginn has maintained his reputation as one of the fastest players in the NFL. After playing in South Florida, he did so with the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals and the Saints.
Before playing football at Ohio State, Ginn was a national champion in the 100m hurdles in high school and in his senior year, he was part of the 4×100 relay team that included then-future Olympic champion Usain Bolt.
Ginn’s production dropped the past two years, thanks in part to a knee injury he suffered in 2018 that caused him to lose 11 games. Although he participated in all 16 games with the Saints in 2019, he caught 30 passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns.
Before the injury, Ginn had the best three-year period of his career, after age 30, with the Panthers in (2015-16) and the Saints (2017). He averaged 50 catches, 759 yards and six touchdowns over that span, working primarily as a threat in deep play.
For his part, the 29-year-old Gipson is expected to start alongside safety Eddie Jackson in the Bears’ high school.
Chicago allowed veteran Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to leave in free agency, but the team chose not to recruit a safety with either of its two second-round picks.
Previously, the Bears served that position by hiring Deon Bush and Jordan Lucas with one-year deals, but Gipson’s projected salary makes him a clear favorite to start.
The Texans still owe $ 3.25 million in guaranteed money to Gipson, who was cut on April 28. Bush has $ 637,500 guaranteed next season and Lucas $ 340,000.