Bears free agency: Punter Pat O’Donnell returns on 1-year deal

SHARE Bears free agency: Punter Pat O’Donnell returns on 1-year deal

Bears punter Pat O’Donnell won’t play Sunday. (AP)

Punter Pat O’Donnell is returning to the Bears on a one-year deal worth $1.5 million, a source confirmed Thursday.

Drafted by the Bears in the sixth round in 2014, O’Donnell had a career-best 47 yards per punt and even threw a 38-yard touchdown last year. “Megapunt” played in all but one game during his four-year career.

He’ll have a new boss: special teams coordinator Chris Tabor. Before he left with John Fox’s staff, then-special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers said O’Donnell had improved.

“I think Pat’s still growing,” Rodgers said in December. “I think those guys kind of figure out what they’re good at and they’re trying to — as coaches, we try to put them in position to be successful. Because if we’re asking guys to do things that they’re either incapable of doing or not comfortable doing, in any area, you’re kind of fighting uphill.  …

“He’s got a really strong leg. He’s a tall guy. He’s got long levers. Guys like that, if they drop the ball a little bit low, they can get some distance on it without hang time. If he gets his leg up through it, you know the ball may be in the air over five seconds and really help the coverage.”

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