Chicago Bears: Dante Rosario

W2W4: Chicago Bears

August, 14, 2014
Aug 14
The Chicago Bears (1-0) host the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) in preseason game No. 2 at Soldier Field. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.

1. Backup quarterback battle: Jordan Palmer received first crack at the No. 2 job in the preseason opener, but in this matchup, the plan is for the Bears to go with Jimmy Clausen once Jay Cutler is finished for the night. Palmer played fairly well in the preseason opener, but Clausen stole the show when he came in, finishing with two touchdown passes and a passer rating of 134.6. If Clausen performs similarly against the Jaguars, it’s likely the Bears take away all the suspense in this battle and name him the No. 2. Remember, Cutler hasn’t played an entire 16-game season since 2009, which makes the backup quarterback job important.

2. Linebacker play: Collectively, the group played poorly in the opener against the Eagles. But in its defense, the team was matched up against a high-octane, no-huddle offense that featured plenty of zone-read concepts that the Bears hadn’t game-planned for. Specifically, Jonathan Bostic and Shea McClellin need to play better. Considering he started nine games as a rookie, Bostic should be poised to take a major step in his development, but we haven’t yet see that. McClellin is making the transition from defensive end, and the staff remains confident he’ll progress enough that the team would feel confident about making him the starter on the strong side.

3. Zach Miller’s bid for the No. 2 tight end job: Incumbent Dante Rosario missed practice Tuesday with soreness in his calf, and if he’s held out of this matchup, Miller basically will receive the opportunity to solidify what appears to be a stranglehold on that No. 2 tight end spot. Miller caught six passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns in his preseason debut, and has since been given more repetitions with the starters when the offense goes to two-tight-end sets. Another strong showing by Miller in this game could outright win him the job, and he needs to take advantage. So far, Miller has taken advantage of every opportunity he’s been given. This game should be no different for him.

Bears pick DT Will Sutton in 3rd

May, 9, 2014
May 9

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The pick: Will Sutton, defensive tackle, Arizona State.

My take: The Bears poured a massive amount of resources into repairing the interior of the defensive line with Sutton and second-round pick Ego Ferguson of LSU. Sutton, a two-time Pac-12 defensive player of the year, had 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss for the Sun Devils in 2012 and likely projects to line up at three-technique in the NFL.

Sutton's numbers dropped last year when he registered only 48 tackles, four sacks and 13.5 tackles-for-loss. Many draft analysts believe Sutton's decline in production was due to his being overweight. Sutton said he is currently at 290 pounds but can continue to drop weight if the Bears want him to.

The defensive tackle was declared academically ineligible in 2010.

Sutton obviously made a positive impression on the Bears and defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni during his pre-draft visit to Halas Hall.

Double-dip: The last time the Bears went back-to-back at defensive tackles in the early rounds was 2004 when former general manager Jerry Angelo selected Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson. When Harris and Johnson were healthy and focused, they comprised one of the best defensive tackle combos in the league. The Bears would be absolutely thrilled if one day Sutton and Ferguson can grow into that role.

Both players are expected to be part of a rotation in 2014, but Sutton and Ferguson could be the future starters at three-technique and nose tackle, respectively.

What's next: The Bears hold four picks Saturday (Nos. 117, 156, 183, 191) but none in the seventh-round due to last year's trade with Dallas for tight end Dante Rosario. But the Bears do have an extra choice in the sixth round, courtesy of sending former first-round choice Gabe Carimi to the Bucs.

With cornerback and defensive tackle addressed, the Bears are expected to target help at linebacker, running back and perhaps safety, although the consensus top-five safeties are all off the board.

As expected, no extra picks for the Bears

March, 24, 2014
Mar 24
Only nine NFL teams have received fewer compensatory draft picks than the Chicago Bears since the system of awarding extra picks was implemented in 1994.

And that won't change this year.

The Bears were not given any additional selections in the upcoming draft. Not that they were expecting any.

Compensatory picks are based on the previous offseason's net losses in free agency. In 2013, they offset their major free-agent losses -- guard Jermon Bushrod (who signed with the New Orleans Saints) and linebacker Nick Roach (Oakland Raiders) -- by signing free-agent tight end Martellus Bennett to a four-year, $20.4 million contract.

Since 1994, the Bears have received 17 compensatory picks. Only Arizona (16), Kansas City (15), Carolina (14), the New York Jets (13), Washington (12), New Orleans (10), Denver (nine), Houston (nine) and Cleveland (six) have received fewer.

On Monday at the NFL annual meetings in Orlando, Fla., a total of 13 teams received 32 compensatory picks for this year's draft.

The Bears have seven selections in the upcoming draft. They own their own picks in each of the first six rounds and also have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' sixth-round pick, which they acquired in the trade for guard Gabe Carimi. They do not have their seventh-round pick, which they traded to the Dallas Cowboys for tight end Dante Rosario.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery shed some light Wednesday on the mysterious release of tight end Dante Rosario, who was let go just 11 days after signing with the club.

At least Emery tried to, anyway.

“We released him, like we do with players,” Emery said. “There’s a good chance he’ll come back like we do with players. There isn’t anything other than that, just a process we’re going through. It’s a very fluid period. We like Dante. It isn’t anything he did.”

So why did the Bears release him? Emery still wouldn’t say, preferring to say “those reasons will remain internal.” But as Emery mentioned, the chaos of free agency makes for fluid situations that sometimes require quick decisions that outside observers might not necessarily understand. So Emery and the Bears probably deserve the benefit of the doubt in this case.

Rosario, 29, played in 15 games for the Bears last season, starting in three while participating in 186 snaps. As it stands right now, the Bears have only one other experienced tight end on the roster (Zach Miller) outside of starter Martellus Bennett. So as Emery said, there’s a good chance he could be back in a Bears uniform for 2014.

Just don’t ask Emery why.

“If we bring him back, those reasons will remain internal,” he said.

Bears, TE Dante Rosario agree to terms

February, 27, 2014
Feb 27
The Chicago Bears agreed to terms on a one-year contract with veteran tight end Dante Rosario, the team announced on Thursday.

Earlier on Thursday the Bears re-signed starting center Roberto Garza to a one-year, $1.5 million contract that included a $100,000 signing bonus and $75,000 workout bonus.

Rosario, a seven-year NFL veteran, was acquired by the Bears via a trade with the Dallas Cowboys on September 2. Rosario appeared in 15 games (three starts) and caught just one pass for 13 yards but did record five special teams tackles.

For his career, Rosario has 100 receptions for 1,119 and eight touchdowns in 106 games and 29 starts.

The Bears could still look to add another tight end to the mix in free agency or the NFL draft to compliment starter Martellus Bennett, who caught a career-high 65 balls for 759 yards in 2013, to go along with five touchdowns.
2014 free agents: Dante Rosario.

The good: Free-agent acquisition Martellus Bennett finished with 65 catches for 759 yards and five touchdowns as he produced career highs in receptions, and receiving yards while tying a career high for TDs. Bennett ranked eighth among NFL tight ends in catches, tied for ninth in yards and tied for 12th in TD receptions. Bennett is now one of eight tight ends in the league to gain more than 1,000 receiving yards in addition to catching at least 10 TD passes since 2012. Bennett also finished third on the team in receiving yardage and fourth in receptions, providing Chicago the threat down the middle of the field it had lacked in years past.

The bad: Bennett was plagued by nagging injuries, and that limited his effectiveness as a blocker on occasion, especially in the first three games. Bennett gave up two sacks and was responsible for six hurries on the season. The Bears often brought in offensive tackle Eben Britton as an extra blocker at the tight end position. Rosario played in 15 games with three starts, but caught only one pass for 13 yards while promising prospect Fendi Onobun spent the entire season on Chicago’s practice squad.

The money (2014 salary-cap numbers): Bennett ($6.025 million), Zach Miller ($645,000), Onobun ($570,000).

Draft priority: Low. Bennett is an ideal fit for what the Bears do offensively, and if one of the club’s younger players such as Miller or Onobun steps up, the team could be set for years to come at the position. Athletically, Onobun is probably the most talented tight end on the roster. But he’s struggled to make the transition into the NFL game, and has been plagued by concentration lapses. Miller, meanwhile, is a former fifth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and caught 41 passes over his first two seasons in the NFL, but has since bounced from Tampa Bay to Chicago. It’s unlikely the Bears will bring back Rosario.

Cutler (groin) limited on Wed.

November, 6, 2013
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (groin) would have been limited on Wednesday if the club had conducted a full-practice, instead of an abbreviated workout due to the short week, according the league’s official injury report.

Cutler is expected to test out his injured groin muscle on the practice field on Thursday to give the Bears an idea of where he is at physically in regards to potentially starting at quarterback Sunday versus the Detroit Lions.

In other injury news, linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder), defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (groin) and long snapper Patrick Mannelly (calf) would not have participated on Wednesday.

Mannelly is considered week-to-week and is not expected to be active this weekend, while Ratliff told ESPN 1000’s “Waddle and Silvy Show” on Monday that he is still “a couple of weeks” away from returning from his injury.

Linebacker Blake Costanzo (back), tight end Dante Rosario (ankle) and cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) were also listed as being limited.

Stock Watch: McClellin breaks through

November, 6, 2013
Shea McClellinJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesShea McClellin won NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance against the Packers.


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Shea McClellin
1. Shea McClellin, DE: This came out of left field, but McClellin had the game of his life against the Green Bay Packers with 3.0 sacks, two tackles-for-loss and the hit that knocked Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers out of the contest with a fractured left collarbone. For one night, there was no talk about the Bears missing out on Chandler Jones in the 2012 NFL draft. Give McClellin, who was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week, some credit. Lesser players would have gone into the tank after such a sluggish and disappointing start to the season, but McClellin persevered. There is no guarantee that McClellin will ever have this type of performance again, but at least now he has the confidence that he can dominate a game from the defensive end position.

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Julius Peppers
2. Julius Peppers, DE: This is what people expect from Julius Peppers. The veteran defensive end flashed his athleticism when he deflected a Seneca Wallace short pass in the air and grabbed the football with one hand to secure the interception. Later in the game, Peppers was credited with a sack, just his second of the year, and also had a tackle-for-loss and another pass defensed. Peppers seemed to be extremely active on the field and fired up on the sidelines. Peppers is a team captain. His teammates need to feed off his emotion. Valid questions have been raised this season about Peppers' motor, or lack thereof. But Peppers' motor was running on Monday night, and the hope is the perennial Pro Bowler still has plenty left in the tank for the second half of the season.

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Josh McCown
3. Josh McCown, QB: McCown will head back to the bench on Sunday if Jay Cutler returns from a torn groin muscle to face the Detroit Lions, but the veteran quarterback did his job. In fact, McCown totally exceeded expectations in both of his appearances, and really should have led the Bears to a pair of victories in relief of Cutler if not for a leaky defense in the Redskins' loss. McCown protected the football, something Cutler has been unable to do in his career versus the Packers, and passed for 272 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. This should end the debate of whether or not McCown is a viable No. 2 NFL quarterback. The Bears are lucky to have McCown, and who knows, maybe he earned himself another one-year deal from the Bears in the offseason.


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Jordan Reed
1. Chris Conte, S: Conte seems to be taking bad angles to the football. He desperately needs a shot of confidence, like McClellin received in the 27-20 victory at Lambeau Field. Conte has talent, that is undeniable. Former general manager Jerry Angelo once remarked that Conte had the potential to be the most complete safety the Bears had drafted since 2001, and Angelo's assessment looked to be valid the past two seasons. But Conte is in a funk and the Bears need to find a way to snap him out of it. I wrote last week that maybe the Bears should consider inserting Craig Steltz or Anthony Walters into the mix at safety to push Conte. There is nothing wrong with competition, and I believe Conte would respond well to it. He just needs to break out of his slump.

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James Anderson
2. Bears linebackers: We all know the Bears are dealing with injuries at linebacker -- Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams. And we also all know the Bears have been forced to start two rookies at the position in Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene. So while the natural inclination is to cut the Bears a certain degree of slack, the linebackers overall did not have much success against the Packers. Green Bay rushed for 199 yards and two touchdowns on 29 attempts, numbers that would likely have been higher if Packers coach Mike McCarthy hadn't abandoned the run in the second half. Much of that is on the linebackers. Also, veteran James Anderson failed to catch a sure interception that would have resulted in a pick-six. Anderson is in the midst of a solid season and the future appears bright for Bostic and Greene, but Monday night was not their finest moment.

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Dante Rosario
3. Dante Rosario, TE: The reserve tight end likely earned himself a spot in the special teams' doghouse when he missed his man and allowed Green Bay to block an Adam Podlesh punt in the third quarter. Rosario has been fine since the Bears acquired him from the Dallas Cowboys, but that's a costly mistake for a player on the bottom of the 53-man roster to make. A seven-year NFL veteran, Rosario committed an uncharacteristic gaffe, that luckily didn't cost the Bears the game. But it very well could have.

Bears waive Maneri; Palmer visits

October, 21, 2013
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears have released tight end Steve Maneri to make room on the 53-man roster for veteran quarterback Jordan Palmer, who is en route to Chicago to take a physical, Bears general manager Phil Emery told reporters at Halas Hall on Monday.

If Palmer passes the physical, as expected, he will sign a contract to serve as the Bears’ No. 2 quarterback behind Josh McCown for as long as starting quarterback Jay Cutler is sidelined with a groin tear -- the team announced Cutler will be out a minimum of four weeks and will then be evaluated week-to-week. Palmer impressed the Bears during his stint with the club in the preseason but failed to make the final cut as the organization decided to carry just two quarterbacks on the active roster.

Palmer completed 11 of 17 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown in the Bears’ preseason finale versus the Cleveland Browns.

Maneri signed a two-year contract with the Bears in March after starting eight games for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012. Maneri began the year on the club’s active game-day roster but had been inactive the past three weeks.

Maneri’s departure leaves the Bears with only two tight ends currently on the roster -- Martellus Bennett and Dante Rosario. However, the Bears could choose to elevate 6-foot-6 tight end Fendi Onobun from the practice squad if the team is concerned about depth at the position. That would require a corresponding roster move.

The Bears also terminated the practice squad contract of wide receiver Ricardo Lockette on Monday, according to Emery.

Bears acquire TE Rosario, waive Adams

September, 2, 2013
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago acquired tight end Dante Rosario on Monday from the Dallas Cowboys for a conditional seventh-round pick, according to’s Todd Archer, and in a corresponding roster move the Bears waived Kyle Adams.

The Bears confirmed the moves, but didn’t divulge the compensation given to the Cowboys to acquire Rosario.

A six-year veteran, Rosario has played in 91 games with 26 starts for Carolina (2007-10), Miami (2011), Denver (2011) and San Diego (2012) after coming into the league as a fifth-round pick of the Panthers.

Rosari0 (6-3, 242 pounds) has tallied 99 career receptions for 1,106 yards and eight touchdowns, in addition to contributing 23 tackles and three fumble recoveries as a special teamer.

Rosario provides versatility for the Bears on offense because of his pass-catching skills, and ability to contribute as either an H-back or a tight end. Over his last two seasons in Carolina (2009-10), Rosario caught 58 passes for 577 yards and two touchdowns.

Rosario played 13 games for the Chargers last season with two starts, and caught 10 passes for 93 yards and three touchdowns.

Rosario appears to be an upgrade over the younger Adams, who has played 23 games for the Bears over the past two seasons. Adams caught four passes for 40 yards during his tenure with the Bears, in addition to posting one tackle on special teams.