Some, including myself, may have been curious why the Bears signed tight end Marcedes Lewis, the fifth-oldest active player in the NFL, this offseason.
Seeing as the Bears recently extended Cole Kmet and signed Robert Tonyan, why would they need another tight end?
A former teammate of Tonyan, he talked about his and Lewis' relationship and why having the venerable tight end in your locker room is valuable. The two spent five seasons together in Green Bay before both signing with the Bears this offseason.
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"When he talks, people listen," Tonyan said in August 2022 on the Bussin' with the Boys podcast. "His demeanor, his voice, what he says, it's meaningful and it has a purpose. It's not like going up there and saying a quote. It's really from what he's done, what he's been through and what he sees.
"I feel like I matured like 10 years over whatever time I was with him because when he talks I just listen because he cares about me and I know that."
Tonyan and Lewis started with the Packers during the same season. Tonyan tried out for the team and was activated in 2018. Lewis was signed to the Packers a few months after Tonyan was activated.
From there, their relationship grew to immense and rare proportions.
Tonyan, the young, undrafted tight end from a small town in Illinois; and Lewis, the venerable veteran from the big city of Los Angeles founded an invaluable relationship.
Lewis took Tonyan under his wing and showed him care through the five seasons they played together. Tonyan recalled Lewis saying he was OK with him being the No. 2 tight end for the first time in his career because he enjoyed watching Tonyan play football.
Tonyan said their conversations were never surface-level. They asked about each other's families, talked about football at a deeper level and exchanged aspirations for their careers.
Now, the two rejoice as teammates once again with the Chicago Bears.
In Tonyan's likely opinion, that's a smart move to make.
"He's the most influential person with football that I've ever been around, for me," Tonyan said in 2022.