Carlson Signs 1-Year Deal With Bears | News, Sports, Jobs – Jamestown Post Journal

May 8, 2023
Stephen Carlson
Sports agent Shane Costa placed a call to his client, Stephen Carlson, on Saturday with a question following the latter’s weekend tryout with the Chicago Bears.
The conversation went something like this:
COSTA: “How did it go?”
CARLSON: “I had a great few days, but who knows if I did enough to get signed.”
COSTA: “I think you did enough, because they’re going to.”
And with that, the Jamestown native is back in the National Football League after signing a one-year contract with the team from the Windy City.
The news, which first hit social media just after midday Saturday, caps quite a journey for the tight end from Jamestown.
A 2015 graduate of Jamestown High School and 2019 graduate of Princeton University, Carlson returns to the NFL after not being tendered a contract by Cleveland in 2022 after tearing his ACL in August 2021 and missing all of the 2021 season.
“It’s definitely been a long year and a half,” he told The Post-Journal on Saturday evening from Chicago. “There was definitely some times where I wasn’t sure if I would ever get signed to a team again. I had a Washington workout last training camp, but I didn’t have another workout until early this offseason. Teams were a little worried about my knee. When free agency started this March, I heard a few things, and two weeks ago I had a tryout with the Saints.”
Carlson said New Orleans indicated it wanted him to return for another look at some point and he also had an invitation from Carolina for this coming weekend.
The Bears won out, however.
“Internally, I knew I was good enough to play, and that was part of the reason why it was so frustrating,” Carlson said. “I felt healthy and I felt I still had the talent to play, so it was frustrating not to have many calls. It’s been a long road and a lot of uncertainty, but it’s great to finally be back signed to a team.
“It’s not the finish line, there’s a lot of work to do, but it’s exciting to have the confirmation that I am who I thought I am.”
Carlson’s high school coach, Tom Langworthy, was thrilled with the news.
“I’m so happy for him, because I know he’s worked to continue his passion and dream, which was cut short (due to injury),” Langworthy said. ” … It just speaks to his character and determination. What also stands out was he went out, worked out with the Bears and they signed him the next day.
“I’ve always thought Steve needs the right opportunity to really showcase his talent. I hope, and have faith, that this is the right one.”
Carlson said he’ll remain in Chicago through the Bears mandatory veteran minicamp in mid-June. Training camp is scheduled to start at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Illinois in late July.
Carlson’s NFL career began in April 2019 when he was signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent. He played in all 16 games in 2020, including two starts. While he caught only one pass for 11 yards, he was a key contributor on special teams where he made nine tackles.
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