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Bears bring back 40-year-old tight end entering record 19th NFL season

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Marcedes Lewis is staying in the NFC North.

A former first round pick who turned 40 in May, Lewis was re-signed by the Chicago Bears to a one-year contract, the team announced Monday.

The 2024 season would be his 19th. Lewis, drafted No. 28 overall by Jacksonville in 2006, played for the Jaguars through the 2017 season. He also played for the Packers between 2018 and 2022 and for the Bears last season.

Lewis is no longer the dynamic playmaker he was when he made the Pro Bowl in 2010, but he has had remarkable longevity.

His 18 seasons are the most by a tight end in league history and he has appeared in 268 games—the most in the NFL among active players.

The 6-6, 267-pounder is known as one of the league’s best blocking tight ends, but he has caught 436 passes for 5,113 yards and 40 touchdowns in his career.

Lewis played in all 17 games with four starts and caught four passes for 29 yards and one TD for the Bears last season.

If he makes the team again it will likely be in a reserve, blocking role behind starter Cole Kmet and offseason acquisition Gerald Everett.

The Bears went 7-10 last season, but hopes are high after Chicago took quarterback Caleb Williams No. 1 overall in April’s draft and acquired running back D’Andre Swift and wide receiver Keenan Allen in the offseason.

Chicago opens its 2024 season against Tennessee on Sept. 8.

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