By show of hands, how many die hard football fans knew Eric Weems signed with the Chicago Bears way back in March of 2012?
It’s okay, I’ll wait.
Now honestly, I don’t recall the acquisition either. For Weems’ case since joining the team, he’s only cracked the starting line up one single, solitary time. For NFL players and teams, starts mean only so much as production is of greater significance towards wins and losses.
So as a receiver, Weems produced to the tune of two catches for 27 yards. Two catches. 27 yards. Over a full 16-game season. To put it bluntly, his production was pathetic. So why would the Bears, who coming into this season despite the need for additional help at receiver, keep a wide out on the roster who averaged 1.6 yards a game?
Weems’ impact on special teams is reason No. 1 for the Bears to keep him. Since entering into the league as an undrafted free agent out of Bethune-Cookman in 2007, Weems proved himself a reliable return specialist for the Atlanta Falcons. A 2010 All-Pro and Pro Bowl section, Weems over his career his amassed 3,942 return yards and two touchdown, not to mention an NFL playoff record 102-yard kick return. Weems, at worst, is a serviceable return man, who under most situations would have his opening day roster spot secured.
However, with all-world return specialist Devin Hester returning to full-time punt and kick return duties, Weems goes into 2013 training camp in an awkward position of either dethroning Hester or being deactivated on game day.