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Poles lauds Pringle for dependability, toughness

Bears WR Byron Prinle

General manager Ryan Poles knows exactly what the Bears are getting in free-agent acquisition Byron Pringle.

The two spent the last four seasons together in Kansas City; Poles was the Chiefs' director of player personnel in 2018 when they signed the receiver as an undrafted free agent and remained in that role before being promoted to executive director of player personnel in 2021.

"That relationship was big because I've known him for a while," Poles said this week at the NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach, Fla. "I know what [players] he was behind in Kansas City, and I know every time his number was called he was productive and he was dependable, and he's tough."

After missing his entire rookie season due to an injury he sustained in the preseason finale, Pringle appeared in 46 games with eight starts the past three seasons, catching 67 passes for 898 yards and seven touchdowns. He also averaged 26.6 yards with one TD on 37 kickoff returns.

The percentage of offensive snaps Pringle played nearly doubled each of the last two seasons, from 14 percent in 2019 to 27 percent in 2020 to 49 percent in 2021. The 6-1, 203-pounder made the most of his expanded role last year, establishing career highs with 42 catches, 568 yards and five TDs.

Pringle also appeared in nine postseason games with five starts for the Chiefs, catching 18 passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns. All three TDs came last year: two in a wild card win over the Steelers and one in a divisional victory over the Bills.

Pringle's emergence in 2021 resulted in part from his determination and perseverance. It's a mentality the 28-year-old has possessed since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent—and one that he'll bring to Chicago, where he'll team with receiver Darnell Mooney under offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

"Adding that element of a big target on the other side of Mooney and giving that to Luke and his staff, I feel really comfortable about that," Poles said. "And when I say chip on his shoulder, he's dying to prove that he can show that he can play in this league. Those are the types of players that we want, so I'm looking forward to his production."