LAKE FOREST — While a lot of the signings made this offseason has been to fill holes on the roster, the one made by the Bears on Monday is perhaps to create competition at a position.
This one in particular is for the special teams unit.
The Bears announced that they’ve signed punter Ryan Anderson to a one-year contract, providing, at the very least, some depth for training camp or even some competition for incumbent Trenton Gill.
It’s been a while since Anderson has been in the NFL having last stepped on the field with the Giants during training camp in 2019. He was brought in for a rookie tryout by the Patriots in the spring of 2018 after completing his college career at Rutgers but wasn’t brought back for the team’s preseason workouts.
Anderson also spent time with the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football during their brief existence in the spring of 2019.
A native of DeWitt, Michigan, the punter had three stints at the collegiate level, first at Division II Saginaw Valley State in 2013 and 2014. He then went to Olivet College in Michigan for two seasons where he set the Division III punt average record for a year (46.2).
During Anderson’s final stop at Rutgers in 2017, he set the school record for punting average (44.4), was named the Big Ten’s Punter of the Year, and was a first team All-Conference selection.
He’ll be on the roster with Gill, who was drafted by the Bears in the seventh round of the 2022 draft and was the team’s top punter in his rookie season. He averages 46 yards on his 66 punts over 17 games, with 20 of those landing inside the 20-yard line.