On Monday, the Chicago Bears decided to extend a one-year offer to veteran tight end James O’Shaughnessy to expand their offseason roster and provide more competition at the position. It was a minor move in the scheme of things and even Bears fans weren’t likely to pay much attention to the news.
However, fans of the Kansas City Chiefs, especially those with strong memories, will likely remember O’Shaughnessy as a former fifth-round pick under John Dorsey back in the 2015 NFL Draft. From the very beginning, O’Shaughnessy faced long odds to make the Chiefs’ active roster given their playoff contender status and his leap from a small school at Illinois State.
To date, he’s accomplished quite a bit more than that, albeit not with the Chiefs.
Former Kansas City Chiefs draft pick James O’Shaughnessy has enjoyed a longer career than likely most fans expected.
While O’Shaughnessy never turned into a productive offensive option while in Kansas City, he did prove himself as a special teams asset and role player who would break out to a greater level once traded away to the New England Patriots (although not with the Patriots, actually). In the 2017 draft, the Chiefs gave up on O’Shaughnessy for the chance to jump rounds from the sixth to the fifth. (The Chiefs would use the pick on linebacker Ukeme Eligwe.)
From there, O’Shaughnessy would fail to make the Pats active roster and find himself claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars on waivers. It was in Florida that O’Shaughnessy found his groove as a receiving option among the team’s tight ends, with 104 catches for 1,022 yards over the last five years.
Last year, with Trevor Lawrence under center for the Jags, O’Shaughnessy had a pace for some career-high totals but an ankle injury sidelined him for a half-season. Still, in only seven games, he had 24 catches for 244 yards.
Given that O’Shaughnessy was always going to be a late-round prospect, he’s turned it into a nice and unexpectedly long career in which he’s now heading into his eighth NFL season. If last season proved that he was as productive as ever, it’s quite possible he sticks around even longer. The Bears certainly hope that there’s plenty left in the tank as O’Shaughnessy comes home for the first time in his pro career.