Tajaé Sharpe keeps moving to keep playing


Jon Robinson’s first-class draft as Tennessee Titans general manager remains one of his best in terms of identifying NFL talent, though the majority of the 10 players drafted in 2016 have moved on.

None have moved more often than Tajaé Sharpe.

The wide receiver, selected in the fifth round that year, is now with his fifth team — the fourth in just over two years — after signing with the Chicago Bears on Thursday. The 27-year-old was one of two veterans the Bears added to the job this week (Dante Pettis, a 2018 second-round pick from San Francisco is the other).

Sharpe got his career back on track last season when he played 15 games (seven starts) with the Atlanta Falcons and their coach, former Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. He caught 25 passes — the same number as his final season with Tennessee (2019) — for 230 yards without a touchdown.

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He joined the Falcons last May on a one-year contract after spending the final weeks of the 2020 season on Kansas City’s practice squad and the first part of the 2021 offseason with the Chiefs. He spent the majority of 2020 with Minnesota but had no strikes in four appearances before his release.

Sharpe is one of five players drafted by Tennessee in 2016 who remain active in the league. Derrick Henry, the last of three second-round picks, and safety Kevin Byard (third-round) remain with the Titans, are integral on offense and defense, respectively, and are considered among the best in their positions. .

First-round pick Jack Conklin signed with Cleveland in 2020 and remains with that team. He was All-Pro once for the Titans (2016) and the Browns.

Defensive lineman Austin Johnson, picked two spots ahead of Henry, signed with his third team, the Los Angeles Chargers, this offseason.

Among all wide receivers selected in 2016, Sharpe is eighth with 117 career receptions and 1,397 receiving yards, and he’s tied for eighth with eight career touchdowns.


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