The Chicago Bears rookie minicamp served multiple purposes this weekend. Its primary function was introducing the team’s first-year players to coaches, and each other, in order to jumpstart their learning curve for the rest of the 2023 offseason program. But it isn’t just for drafted rookies or the players who sign undrafted free-agent contracts.
A slew of veterans and unsigned rookies tried out for a contract too.
One of those veterans, tight end Stephen Carlson, impressed GM Ryan Poles and the Chicago Bears’ coaches enough to ink a deal.
Carlson joins a Bears tight end room with Cole Kmet and Robert Tonyan at the top of the depth chart. Jake Tonges and Chase Allen are entering their second season after joining Chicago as undrafted free agents last year.
Carlson, 26, played his college ball at Princeton before signing with the Cleveland Browns after the 2019 NFL Draft. He began his career on Cleveland’s practice squad before joining the active roster in November of his rookie year. He suffered a torn ACL in 2021 and was out of the league last season.
Carlson has six receptions for 62 yards and one touchdown in his career.
In addition to Carlson, the Chicago Bears added two more rookies. Safety Bralen Trahan (Louisiana) and interior offensive lineman Josh Lugg (Notre Dame) earned contracts after a strong showing at minicamp.