Bears announce the signings of five tryout players

Bryan Perez
NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Bears announced the signings of five tryout players Monday, including receiver Matt Fleming, offensive linemen Jeremi Hall and Matt McCants, and defensive backs John Franklin III and Tyrin Holloway.

To make room for the moves, the Bears released Travis Averill and Cameron Lee and linebackers Howard Jones and Nyles Morgan.

Matt Nagy made it clear at the start of rookie minicamp that unheralded players will get a fair look from his coaching staff, and he stayed true to his word.

The most intriguing name among the new Bears is Fleming, a Division-III pass-catcher who made the rare decision to turn pro early despite his status as a small-school player. He was a productive receiver at Benedictine, finishing 2017 with 45 catches for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns. He caught Nagy's eye early in the minicamp and was singled out for his play. 

Fleming will add more juice to the receiver group. He was a four-time All-American in track and field and he'll need every bit of that speed to crack the final roster at the end of training camp. He's not the biggest guy (6-foot, 180 pounds) and he's joining a crowded depth chart that includes Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and Kevin White as locks to make the team. Bennie Fowler and Joshua Bellamy will be tough to unseat, too. 

Still, Fleming and the rest of the newly signed Bears represent a great story and will be fun to follow in training camp.

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