Justin Fields, Cole Kmet made Robert Tonyan’s Bears homecoming easy decision

Robert Tonyan always knew he wanted to play for the Bears one day.

The quarterback turned tight end and the McHenry native finally made that dream come true Thursday when he signed a one-year contract to play for his hometown team. There were many compelling reasons for Tonyan to leave the Green Bay Packers for a Bears team he believes has the arrow pointing straight up.

Quarterback Justin Fields was chief among them.

“Big fan of the quarterback,” Tonyan told Chicago media on a Friday conference call via Zoom.

“I think he’s a mentally strong, young player. It’s hard to do when you come into the league when you have a lot, whether it’s positive or negative things being said about you in the media, just keep keep your cool and play your game. He progressed so well throughout the year last year. We got to see, being division opponents. He stays in there, takes hits, gets up, shows up, kept coming back for more. It’s what you want in a quarterback and a leader, someone who doesn’t quit or back down, play through injuries or whatever it may be. I’m just super excited to be a part of it.”

Tonyan is familiar with Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and his plan. The 28-year-old tight end knows it fits his skill set well. He’s a surefire pass catcher who could give Fields another reliable target in the red zone. Tonyan has only dropped two passes in five seasons, per . Pro Football Reference.

Last season, the Bears’ offense had a dearth of legitimate pass-catching weapons. With Tonyan and newly acquired DJ Moore on board, Fields has a few more tools in an evolving arsenal.

Tonyan will join a tight end room led by Cole Kmet. The 24-year-old got off to a slow start in Year 3 of his NFL career, but settled in and exploded for seven touchdowns in the final 10 games, five of which came in a three-game stretch.

Bringing in another quality pass-catching tight end in Tonyan to pair with Kmet should lift a Bears offense that lacked bite in the passing game last season.

“This offense goes through the tight ends, whether it’s blocking, passing, whatever it is,” Tonyan said. “And just a good pair. Cole is a great tight end. He’s big, strong, and I think adding that can complement me and him. I’m super pumped.

“I’m just excited to get into this building and get things rolling and just be a part of a team that’s moving in the right direction.”

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Catching passes from Fields, reuniting with Getsy and pairing with Kmet were all selling points for Tonyan to join the Bears.

But it’s also home — where Tonyan had always planned to achieve his NFL dreams.

“Did I think I was going to be a tight end for the Bears? No,” Tonyan said of his football journey. “But did I think I was going to play for the Bears? Yeah, absolutely. In my mind, I played for the Bears my whole life.”

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