Atlanta Falcons: Eric Weems headed to the Bears

Falcons wide receiver Eric Weems (14) breaks a tackle by Chicago Bears' Kyle Adams (86) in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. The Bears won 30-12. AP

Falcons wide receiver Eric Weems (14) breaks a tackle by Chicago Bears' Kyle Adams (86) in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. The Bears won 30-12. AP

Falcons wide receiver/returner Eric Weems has agreed to terms with the Chicago Bears on a three-year contract on Wednesday.

He will be re-united with Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery, who scouted Weems coming out of Bethune Cookman when he was the Falcons’ director of college scouting.

“He definitely has some familiarity with Eric,’ said Joseph Christopher Martin, Weem’s agent. ”They know he’s a tough player that can come and help them right away, both on the field and on special teams. He’s done work every time that he’s played  against the Bears. I know their special teams coach loves him. It’s a great spot for him to focus on getting back to the Pro Bowl.”

Zach Klein of WSB TV orginally reported the signing with an unamed source.

Weems played last season after signing a one-year tender worth $1.8 million in July.

He returned punts and kickoffs for the last three seasons and was one of the top special teams tacklers. He was important to the offense getting good field position.

He averaged 25.3 yards on kickoff returns in 2009, 27.5 in 2010 and 23.5 last season. In 2010, he had a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Tampa Bay that helped rally the team to victory. He also had a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown that season.

He has played in 55 games and made six career starts. He’s caught 24 passes for 205 yards.

“He’ll get more at-bats at wide receiver and in the slot than he did with Atlanta,” Martin said. “Now, he’s got Brandon Marshall outside who can stretch the field and you’ve got Devin (Hester) who is explosive. Then you bring in a guy like Eric, who’s a natural slot guy. He has good feel and instincts and can run away from linebackers. That will allow him to really step up and develop as a No. 4 or possibly a No. 3 receiver.”

Weems went to the Pro Bowl in 2010 as the special teams player.

Weems was originally signed by the Falcons as an undrafted rookie free agent on May 1, 2007.

He was signed to the practice squad following the 2007 training camp and was elevated to the 53-man roster for the final regular season game. He was waived by the Falcons at the end of the 2008 training camp on August 30 and signed to the practice squad the following day. He was signed to the active roster on November 19, 2008.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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130 comments Add your comment

EffeX05

March 14th, 2012
10:22 am

PoolerSpirit

March 14th, 2012
10:23 am

I didn’t see any need to keep him around with the new kickoff rules eliminating his usefulness… And I’d rather see Franks back there on punts anyway… Good luck in Chicago, Eric!

PMC

March 14th, 2012
10:27 am

Peace, good luck Eric Weems

Mave2124

March 14th, 2012
10:28 am

Guess Franks and a draft pick are gonna compete for that role in 2012. Good luck Special Weems.

we r broke

March 14th, 2012
10:29 am

good luck eric!!!!

Jeff B

March 14th, 2012
10:30 am

Yeah Weems was a good ST player, but was never going to make a big impact as a WR. I wish him luck in his career!

EffeX05

March 14th, 2012
10:33 am

Pretty upset that we are losing so many players and are so broke that we’re not gonna be players in free agency after all this hype about free agency! No super Mario, no Carl Nicks(looks like the Bucs are after him), no Dwight Freeny and to top it all off we’re losing our best kick returner…Our only pass rusher…AND our leading tackler!(probably to the Bucs of all teams!!!) What are the dirty birds doing!? It’s hard to be excited for any of this since we don’t seem to be getting better as a team (at least on the defensive side of the ball) Add to that the fact that we don’t pick until 55 in the draft and what you have is a pissed off fan base. Somebody needs to come forward with some good news for Atlanta (yes I know we resigned HD..that doesn’t count)

Jacksonville North...

March 14th, 2012
10:36 am

DLed….do you think this paves the way for that former all pro special team ace to come here from the Jags to come here since we always seem to get their cast offs?

jerry

March 14th, 2012
10:37 am

Now maybe they can come up with a real threat kick returner.

EffeX05

March 14th, 2012
10:44 am

And please to those of u who would say to me that we should be happy with what we have. I say this: Complacency is the enemy of progress and success. Falcons’ fans are sick to death of hearing other fans (Saints,Steelers,Pats,Giants,Packers) mentioning their teams’ super bowl championships. So the fact remains that until the Falcons can win the big one that fans will never be satisfied and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I love my Falcons and I want them to do well, but with the Panthers looking better and the Bucs doing everything in their power to get better…the birdz better be doin something or else we’ll have a lot more problems than just the Saints.

BigTimeTECHFan

March 14th, 2012
10:55 am

Do the Bears still have Devin Hester, why would they go after Weems if they already have Hester?

Jamal

March 14th, 2012
10:55 am

As a huge fan of the Falcons, I am so disappointed with our team right now. How could we say that we are committed to winning, but yet we haven’t done anything to make this team better.

Boom Dizzle

March 14th, 2012
11:00 am

I really wonder what this team is doing. They are sending mixed messages. In January, they were saying changes MUST be made, money is no object. Now that it’s March, money is no object as in non existent, and only changes are some of the better players on D are walking and our O-line is lining up Sam Baker at tackle still…..I fail to see where this team is better right now….

BigTimeTECHFan

March 14th, 2012
11:00 am

Calvin Johnson would have been a free agent after the 2012 season, and that was something the Lions just couldn’t live with. The team and Johnson agreed to an eight-year contract extension believed to be the richest contract for a receiver in NFL history. The deal keeps him in Detroit through 2019

Joe

March 14th, 2012
11:01 am

That picture of Eric at the top of the page…..man that defender has him by the Dugan….

Mike

March 14th, 2012
11:04 am

I’m not buying that they’re too broke to do anything. Teams manipulate the cap all the time to get players that they want. I’m over Mario Williams, you don’t want to pay max money for him. Fine. At least go get Soliali/Langford and a Left Tackle who can compete. After that draft an athletic edge rusher in round 2 (Curry, Mercilius). Just don’t sell me on Baker/Svitek at Left Tackle and our DLine getting pressure on Brees/Newton/QB of the week that we make look like an all-star with the guys we have under contract now.

mark

March 14th, 2012
11:04 am

Wow we are losing several good players that had a lot to do with what success they were having. I’m not seeing how two injury prone players are gonna get the team over the hump, and most of all outta the 1st round of the playoffs. Hell they may not even get their because the only pass rusher we had is gone, and the run stuffing MLB is gone as well. Not to mention Hawley was lost in the sauce last year, and they are expecting him to take a all pro’s job that they are letting go as well. Well maybe we are seeing the demise of MS and TD. I hope Mike Nolan is ready to take them helm mid season. If the birds don’t make a strong push for Grubbs and Gaither then Matt Ryan is gonna be on his azz again all season. Prove me wrong plz TD and company.

EffeX05

March 14th, 2012
11:05 am

It’s official, the bucs have signed Carl Nicks…Vincent Jackson..and Eric Wright..we have just seen the Bucs have become better.

skeptomania

March 14th, 2012
11:05 am

Good to see Falcons letting some overrated players leave town. Still have a few more to go.

mountain_jim

March 14th, 2012
11:06 am

Where were the cuts to free up some space? Ovie, Baker… I know, they think Baker can play – I doubt it.

Joe Tess Fish House

March 14th, 2012
11:06 am

This is al Tommmy Dummytroffs fault.

PMC

March 14th, 2012
11:16 am

The thing about the Bucs though, 1st year head coach….and a college one at that. They have upgraded an already very talented team, but they were talented last year.

I’m not all that worried about them until they start clicking.

EffeX05

March 14th, 2012
11:18 am

So I guess we’re just gonna sit on out hands and be irrelevant throughout FA and mostly irrelevant throughout the draft and then hope that our new D-coordinator knows something about the roster that we don’t. Unless Mike Nolan has a ‘Wade Phillips-like’ effect on this defense’ I believe we are in trouble.

Sid

March 14th, 2012
11:21 am

I had heard that Marshall may have some Goodell issues to weave thru………….Eric may get more opportunities than he imagined. Hate to see him go but we’ll see what they do with it.

EffeX05

March 14th, 2012
11:25 am

PMC, I’d be a lil more than worried about them. They were a talented team when they went 10-6 when they gave us all we could handle in both games and even thought their record was garbage last year, they were more than talented enough to beat us once. Never underestimate an opponent, especially when they’re loading a gun to use on you.

DawgFan

March 14th, 2012
11:25 am

The Bears had to get some extra WR help, seeing as their Brandon Marshall trade may backfire a bit. Looks like Marshall may be suspended, possibly up to 6 or 8 games. At least, that was the rumor flying around ESPN radio this morning, based off past suspensions and multiple offenses.

sainthater

March 14th, 2012
11:25 am

Can everyone say PANIC, come on the free agency period is not even 24 hours old. Give them some time, they will be fine.

Buckeye

March 14th, 2012
11:28 am

Say hello to the bottom of the NFC South. Not that I wnat it they way, just sayin’.

Sid

March 14th, 2012
11:33 am

PMC March 14th, 2012 11:16 am
The thing about the Bucs though, 1st year head coach….and a college one at that. They have upgraded an already very talented team, but they were talented last year.

I’m not all that worried about them until they start clicking.
*********************************************
Ya never know, TB could end up being New Orleans 3 years ago. Much to my revelry Nawlins will finish last in the South. Tampa Bay won their only SB in 2003. It sure feels like the Falcons brass are doing a lot of shooting from the hip.

PMC

March 14th, 2012
11:35 am

Finnegan signed for 50 million with 26.5 guaranteed, so yeah franchising Grimes was smart

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 14th, 2012
11:35 am

Joe — Ouch!!!

What Pass Defense?

March 14th, 2012
11:37 am

I hate to see him go. I do not think he was ever given a chance at wide receiver here. I think he can be a good wide receiver if given the chance. He seems to be a natural for the slot. He demonstrated good elusive running skills, and was incredibly strong for his size making him hard to tackle.

Konehead

March 14th, 2012
11:42 am

It’s sad to say that everyone in our division is getting better and we aren’t. They wonder why the fan base doesnt back the Falcons like other teams. it’s simple, other teams owners and GM are willing to take risk and spend money to WIN. After you watched what we put on the field last year how can you honstely say we can win with what we have. Not only that, With possibly loosing #55 and Lofton. That’s just amazing to think about. I just dontr get it… A long with countless more fans. This isn’t looking to good at the moment. Hopefully they are working on something that will shock the world because thats what it’s going to take to compete with the other NFL teams. #SADFAN

Konehead

March 14th, 2012
11:44 am

@D-Led, Please give us some thoughts of what may be going on behind the scenes?

Chub Rock

March 14th, 2012
11:48 am

Now watch Eric Weems will probably go to Chicago and catch 40-50 balls a season. I’m just not so sure at this point this Coach(Smith) truly has a handle on his position. Weems is replaceable sure but we could have gotten alot more outta Weems. He’s a natural slot receiver with good hands. Mark my words if this thick headed coach doesn’t find a way to get Sidbury on the field instead having these man crush on Kroy Biermann, Sid is gonna end up somewhere else balling out. Coach Smith has some type of Separation Anxiety Disorder. With all the options out there at backup QB you bring back one of the worst 35 yr old backups in the league. Why? Because these good ol boyz are afraid of people they can’t hunt and fish with. I’m not trying to say anything about racism at all I’m just saying the boyz got a certain comfort level they like to maintain and I think they make coaching decision that support their comfort levels. You bring Dunta Robinson in and instead of letting the guy play the type of football that made you give him the type of money you did you stick to your comfort level in letting BVG make the calls. Look at all of these coaches and players coming from Jacksonville. No way there is nothing better out there than former co-workers at Jacksonville. Jacksonville ain’t exactly a dynasty now is it. This team has reached a certain success level and the wad was shot to get there. If you see any regression this season this is gonna wreak of Mora jr. A guy who enjoyed initial success but because he had no real experience at building a championship football he fizzled out. You have to able able to adapt and change it up in this league, teams watch what you do and scheme against it. Look at Belicheck he changes it up every year. Coach Michael Smith the clock is ticking will you be able to step out of the comfortable box you have enclosed yourself in and actually take over and lead your team like the real coaches in this league do. I just don’t think he has it in him. If we signed Mario Williams and BVG was still here he would be dropping back in coverage a third of the time LOL. Mike Nolan might be the best thing to happen to this football team in the last 5 or 6 years but only if he is allowed to do what he does best. If Smith forces this guy into his little obtuse box of defensive play calling we are finished and regression is our future.

PMC

March 14th, 2012
11:50 am

It’s not the spending money that’s the problem. Arthur has opened up the check book for everything from new facilities and painting the dome to getting any free agent the FO wanted.

The problem, we’re STILL paying for bad players like Jamaal Anderson.

This team IS STILL poor at evaluating talent and it still signs bad contracts.

**Frederick(Bailey)Douglass**

March 14th, 2012
11:54 am

Necessary departure…Harry Douglas/Dominique Franls can handle the kick/punt returns. Douglas also plays WR and Franks also plays DB. Weems didn’t do anything else very well.

To add…kickoffs are now non-existent.

Goodbye, good luck, and God Speed Weems.

Sincerely,

FBD

AlanFalcon

March 14th, 2012
12:06 pm

I don’t think that Weems had any long term future with the Falcons as they have others that can replace him-Good move. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Longtimefan

March 14th, 2012
12:07 pm

TD and MS formula may not result in a Super Bowl team but to say they are not willing to take risks or spend money is not only not fair, but untrue. They signed the best available running back (Turner) several years ago which turned out to be a great move. They attempted to shore up the secondary by giving Dunta Robinson a big contract. Last year they signed one of the top two DE FA in Edwards. TD rolled the dice in the draft to get one of the best WR in recent years. How is all of that not being proactive and taking risks? Some of these players don’t live up to expectations and TD gets blamed for being too aggressive. There are 31 other GMs trying to land the same players we are and they all have the same cap to work under. Sometimes FA signings and draft choices just don’t pan out. Haynesworth anyone? The new coaches have spent countless hours the last few months planning strategy and reviewing film. I trust they know more and are a better judge of football skill than the casual fan. I will wait and see how it all pans out.

Contractor

March 14th, 2012
12:08 pm

A little off topic here, but I wish there was a way we could have ridded the team of Roddy White and brought Marques Colston to Atlanta. I think Michael Turner could be traded and we look at free agents are draft another running back in the draft. Turner is just too big and slow for me with no cutting ability (has done a great job in Atlanta though). We are losing some good players because of salary cap issues, and we have to be able to cut the fat in places that aren’t booming with talent at the moment. I wish we could have signed Peyton Manning for a couple of years in order to stabilize Matt Ryan from the path he’s seemingly headed towards. Just hope the boys get it together and come back this year, because they have something to prove.

Ackshun

March 14th, 2012
12:10 pm

In hindsight had the rookie cap been in place when we drafted Ryan we would have the cash to field a better team right now.

Big Dude

March 14th, 2012
12:13 pm

Hey Xo5: The sky is falling. Better take shelter. You said it best. Complacency is the enemy of progress and success. I see that T. D. is getting rid of compalcent players and is preparing this team for success with people who want to win and not just get a fat paycheck. It’s only been one day. Give the man a chance to do his work. There are plenty of F.A. out there. The season has’nt even started and we’re already complaining about what we think is going to be the roster and our season record…

Sid

March 14th, 2012
12:16 pm

Contractor March 14th, 2012 12:08 pm
A little off topic here, but I wish there was a way we could have ridded the team of Roddy White and brought Marques Colston to Atlanta. I think Michael Turner could be traded and we look at free agents are draft another running back in the draft. Turner is just too big and slow for me with no cutting ability (has done a great job in Atlanta though).
***********************************************************************
I don’t think Turner’s speed or cutting ability is his shortcoming, it’s his vision. And of course if you don’t have a hole to run thru it’s pretty damn hard to see it.

Sweet Old Buck

March 14th, 2012
12:20 pm

Atlanta’s pro sports management teams have all come from the same school. Good things come to those who wait.

Sid

March 14th, 2012
12:23 pm

$132 million / 7 years for Calvin Johnson……………..he’s a Lion thru 2019………..!!!!

EffeX05

March 14th, 2012
12:25 pm

Really? I wasn’t reffering to players but fans when I mentioned complacency and if you’re watching what’s happening and thinking that all is well then ur in denial. Give TD a chance? To do what? We’re broke, there’s nothing he can do right now so it’s not like I’m being unfair to him. I like TD, but that doesn’t change the fact that you don’t add by subtracting. Lofton and Abe contributed to a lot of our success, mud duck as well. Now they’re gone and we have nothing to show for it.

Chucktown38

March 14th, 2012
12:28 pm

Look I love Jones and I will always be a Falcons fan, but TD really messed up by trading away all of the picks to get him. Now the FANS and players are going to suffer for a few more decades because of it.There is not one thing Td can do at this point to make the team better. What a HOT MESS!!

JSS

March 14th, 2012
12:28 pm

Ackshun…
You win the prize, you get it!!!

But they didn’t need a rookie cap, they had the Vince Young contract sitting out to tell them what Ryan should have been worth and they thumbed their nose at it and gave him huge guaranteed money on top of that! When the Rams did the same thing, two years later it cost the GM his job and the coach too!!!

What Pass Defense?

March 14th, 2012
12:28 pm

Is there any significance to the Falcons having as their first pick #55, and we are letting #55 leave via free agency?

canadian falcon

March 14th, 2012
12:28 pm

everyone on here wants the big name signings. I read the ame things about dunta robinson and ray edwards. now the same people that wanted those guys are down on TD about signing them. Have faith and be real fans. The new OC and DC should fix things with what we have.