After three years, the Bears have officially pulled the plug on Adam Shaheen. They traded him to Miami for a conditional seventh-round pick. That is, they’re probably getting nothing for him; if he revives his career down there, they’ll get a little something.
Shaheen came out of tiny Ashland (Ohio) in 2017, and the Bears (and other teams) had high hopes for him. He had the cool “Baby Gronk” nickname, and Chicago selected him in the middle of the second round. When you take a tight end in the second round, it’s with the expectation he’s going to be a starter.
But it just never happened. Shaheen hardly played as a rookie. He was their starter heading into the 2018 season but sprained his ankle in the preseason. And he didn’t get on the field much last year. In three years, he’s caught 26 passes and 4 TDs.
I’m not suggesting anyone select Shaheen in the last round of their draft. He would need to show something on the field before that happens. But there have been a few tight ends who’ve done essentially nothing with their original team and then gone on to greatness with other franchises.
Wesley Walls, most notably, was a second-round pick who never did much of anything in San Francisco. He later had big seasons with the Saints and Panthers. Twice in the last five years, virtual nobody tight ends have surprised with 1,000-yard seasons – Darren Waller last year, and Gary Barnidge back in 2015.
I played around with the numbers some. Sifting through the data, I see 12 tight ends who put up top-20 numbers (PPR scoring) after never ranking higher than 30th with their original team. In addition to the two 1,000-yard guys, three others finished with top-10 numbers – Billy Miller (2002), Donald Lee (2007) and Visanthe Shiancoe (2008).
I don’t believe that anybody in Miami is pondering whether Shaheen might be a big-time threat for them. With Mike Gesicki, I think they already have their tight end. But Shaheen was considered a physical talent a few years back, so makes sense for the Dolphins to kick his tires.
|SCRAP HEAP TIGHT ENDS (last 20 years)|
|2002||Billy Miller, Hou.||51||613||3||130.3||6||5-59-0||Den.|
|2003||Jed Weaver, S.F.||35||437||1||84.7||18||11-91-0||Phil.|
|2004||Steve Heiden, Cle.||28||287||5||88.7||18||8-55-1||S.D.|
|2007||Donald Lee, G.B.||48||575||6||141.5||9||13-110-1||Mia.|
|2008||Anthony Fasano, Mia.||34||454||7||121.4||13||14-143-1||Dall.|
|2008||Visanthe Shiancoe, Min.||42||596||7||143.6||8||10-56-2||NYG|
|2012||Scott Chandler, Buff.||43||571||6||136.1||15||0-0-0||S.D.|
|2013||Delanie Walker, Ten.||60||571||6||153.1||11||21-344-3||S.F.|
|2015||Gary Barnidge, Cle.||79||1,043||9||237.3||4||12-242-0||Car.|
|2016||Zach Miller, Chi.||47||486||4||119.6||20||21-212-2||Jac.|
|2019||Darren Fells, Hou.||34||341||7||110.1||17||21-311-3||Ariz.|
|2019||Darren Waller, Oak.||90||1,145||3||223.0||2||10-85-2||Balt.|
|2020||Adam Shaheen, Mia.||?||?||?||?||?||12-127-3||Chi.|