Saddle Brook Native Signs with Chicago Bears
Saddle Brook High School graduate Steve Maneri has signed a two-year contract to play tight end for the Chicago Bears.
Saddle Brook native Steve Maneri is taking his talents to the Windy City and joining some old Bergen County buddies in the process.
The 25-year-old tight end, who spent his second trying season in Kansas City last year with the NFL-worst Chiefs, signed a two-year deal with the Chicago Bears on Thursday, according to the team's website.
The Bears brought in the 6-foot-6-inch, 280-pound Maneri to compete for a job behind Martellus Bennett, whom Chicago recently signed away from the New York Giants. In Chicago, Maneri will be surrounded by a more balanced offense that features quarterback Jay Cutler, running back Matt Forte and wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
"There's a lot of talent on the offense and I'm excited to work with whoever's there," Maneri told the Chicago Bears' team website. "I'm a blocking tight end and I'll help in the run game as much as I can and catch the ball when it's thrown to me. I just want to add on and do whatever I can to help the team win."
By joining the Bears, Maneri will also be embarking on a Jersey reunion of sorts.
Three of his new Bears' teammates are North Jersey natives and a fourth was a college teammate at nearby Temple University.
"The jersey connection just continues to grow..#bergencounty," Bears defensive end Corey Wootton, a Don Bosco product, tweeted at special teams ace Blake Costanzo, a Ramapo grad, after Maneri's signing was announced.
Costanzo, it turns out, is actually Maneri's distant cousin and the two have been working out together this offseason, the Bears' website reports.
"Blake brings a lot of energy to the game," Maneri told ChicagoBears.com. "I know we'll motivate each other because we can push each other's buttons a little bit, and that will be fun."
Maneri's former Temple University teammates Evan Rodriguez, of North Bergen, and Derek Dennis are also part of the Bears' plans for 2013.