The Bears' signing of unrestricted free agent tight end Michael Gaines Monday could present last year's fifth-round pick, Kellen Davis, with an uphill battle for a roster spot this year.
The 6-foot-7, 262-pound Davis played in all 16 games last season as the No. 3 tight end but did not catch a pass and was a marginal contributor on special teams. With Greg Olsen and Desmond Clark doing most, if not all, of the pass-catching at the tight end position, the Bears want their No. 3 tight end to be a powerful blocker.
At 6-foot-4 and 277 pounds, blocking is Gaines' forte. But the 29-year-old also had 23 receptions last season for the Lions, along with a career-high 260 receiving yards. With the Panthers, Gaines even played some fullback, serving as a lead blocker on running plays.
In a career that began as a seventh-round draft pick (232nd overall) in 2004 with the Panthers, he has 79 receptions for 810 yards and 5 touchdowns. After three years in Carolina, Gaines spent 2007 with the Bills before joining the Lions. Gaines, who was also courted by the Jets, signed a one-year deal with the Bears.