This Quote Clarifies Marcedes Lewis' Return to the Bears

V. Carbonneau
June 11, 2024  (3:07)

Mercedes Lewis in action
Photo credit: Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Bears confirmed the retention of veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis on Monday, underscoring their commitment to his role in the upcoming season. Standing at 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 265 pounds, Lewis appeared in all 17 games for the Bears last season, although his playing time was limited, seeing action on just 29% of offensive snaps. Despite this, he managed to contribute with four receptions for 29 yards and notably scored a touchdown, establishing himself as the oldest skill-position player to achieve this feat in 2023.

Lewis' career trajectory is remarkable, having been drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 28th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft from UCLA. His longevity in the league is a testament to his durability and professionalism over the years. The decision to retain Lewis for the 2024 season at the age of 40 might raise eyebrows among some fans, but former Bears Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy provided insight into the team's reasoning:
"In my mind, one of the coolest things was seeing a guy in the room who's rising to become a high-level player, with Marcedes there to mentor him and showcase his professionalism and mentality," Getsy commented in December, as reported by ESPN's Courtney Cronin. "Those intangible qualities convinced me that he's going to make a difference and have an impact. Plus, he's still performing at an elite level at his age."
While Getsy's praise may invite skepticism from some quarters, it underscores Lewis' influence within the team. His experience and leadership are expected to benefit younger players on the roster, particularly as the Bears transition to a new phase with rookie quarterback Caleb Williams and potential star receiver Rome Odunze leading the offensive charge. Additionally, on the defensive side, several younger players are poised to play significant roles, making Lewis' presence even more valuable.
The decision to re-sign Lewis thus symbolizes more than just continuity; it reflects a belief in his ability to contribute meaningfully to the Bears' evolving narrative in 2024. His initial signing last season could have been perceived as merely a reunion with a familiar coaching staff from his Green Bay Packers days. However, his decision to remain with the team amidst significant changes, including learning a new offensive system under a rookie quarterback, suggests a deeper alignment with the franchise's vision.
As Lewis gears up for his 19th season in the NFL, alongside contemporaries like Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, and Hall of Famer Devin Hester from the 2006 draft class, his presence serves as a testament to perseverance and enduring value in professional sports. Known affectionately as "Big Dog" among NFL circles, Lewis continues to embody the blend of experience, skill, and leadership that resonates within the Chicago Bears organization as they prepare for the challenges of the 2024 season.
11 JUNE   |   37 ANSWERS
This Quote Clarifies Marcedes Lewis' Return to the Bears

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