The Bears on Thursday released tight end Ben Braunecker, who had emerged in recent years as a special teams piece and a fill-in, pass-catching tight end.
Signed out of Harvard as an undrafted free agent in 2016, Braunecker played 47 games, starting seven times. He had 11 of his 22 career targets when the Bears’ tight end room grew thin last year, catching six of his 13 career passes for 59 of his 142 career yards. He caught his only career touchdown in a 20-13 win against the Lions in Week 10.
Braunecker’s opportunity for extended playing time ended in Week 12 when he suffered a concussion against the Giants. In December, he became the third Bears tight end to land on injured reserve.
The Bears signed tight ends Jimmy Graham and Demetrius Harris and also drafted Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet this offseason. They still have eight tight ends on their roster.