How Important is Evan Rodriguez to Chicago Bears?
After getting arrested twice this offseason, it seems that the Chicago Bears have decided to keep fullback/tight end Evan Rodriguez for the upcoming season.
Rodriguez was first arrested in March while in Miami Beach, FL for resisting an officer without violence and disorderly intoxication. Despite the charges being dropped, Bears general manager Phil Emery didn’t take light of Rodriguez’s actions, and “re-educated” the second-year player on what is expected as a member of the Bears.
This past Friday, Rodriguez was arrested for a second time in Illinois for driving under the influence, speeding and improper lane change. It was reported that Rodriguez had a blood alcohol level of 0.17.
After his second arrest, the 2012 fourth-round draft pick apologized to both the Bears organization and fans for his actions, saying that he made a “very poor decision,” and that he “will make positive changes” going forward.
This type of behavior from Rodriguez isn’t anything new. While in college, Rodriguez had a number of off-the-field problems, which might have caused a plummet in his draft stock.
Seeing that Emery is giving Rodriguez another chance despite his run-ins with the law indicates that his services to Chicago’s offense could be more important than most may think. This offseason, the Bears signed highly sought-after tight end Martellus Bennett, who should take on majority of the duties at tight end.
That potentially leaves fullback as Rodriguez’s primary role for the Bears this season. Rodriguez is the only fullback on a Chicago current roster that has five tailbacks. The lack of fullbacks in the Bears’ backfield just might be the one thing that’s keeping Rodriguez in the Windy City.
Another thing that could be giving the versatile player new life is the fact that Chicago has a new offensive-minded head coach in Marc Trestman. The only way to get a clear indication of Rodriguez’s worth is to see how he fares in this new offense.
Whatever the reason Emery has, Rodriguez ought to thank his lucky stars for still being in a Bears uniform. Having two strikes against him, Rodriguez should quickly choose to walk the straight and narrow, or it’ll be all over for him in Chicago.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+