University of British Columbia OL Theo Benedet signs NFL undrafted free agent contract with Chicago Bears: sources

Courtesy: Bob Frid/UBC Athletics

Canadian offensive lineman Theo Benedet has signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Chicago Bears, per sources.

His deal includes a $20,000 USD signing bonus with $80,000 USD in base salary guaranteed for a $100,000 USD guaranteed total. That’s a significant investment in Benedet by the Bears.

The 22-year-old Canuck joins the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, quarterback Caleb Williams, in the Windy City. Montreal-based agent Sasha Ghavami represents Benedet, he helped Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif through the process to turn into a reliable starter and Super Bowl champion with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Benedet started every game in his four seasons at the University of British Columbia at right tackle, becoming the most decorated offensive lineman in Canadian university football history. The North Vancouver native is the first offensive player to win back-to-back J.P. Metras Trophies as the country’s top down lineman and secured first-team All-Canadian honours on both occasions.

The six-foot-seven, 295-pound blocker attended the East-West Shrine Bowl following the 2022 season but made a surprise decision to return to school and defer his draft year. Despite that fact, he impressed as the only U Sports representative, finishing as the fifth-highest-graded offensive lineman according to Pro Football Focus and becoming the only blocker to rate in the 75th percentile or above in all pass-set metrics.

That performance fueled NFL attention throughout his final university season, with a double-digit amount of NFL franchises visiting UBC’s campus last season as the Thunderbirds made a run to the Vanier Cup, losing to the University of Montreal Carabins. He attended the College Gridiron Showcase in January and was one of the most interviewed prospects, speaking with nearly every NFL team in attendance.

Representatives from 16 NFL teams were on hand at UBC’s pro day in Vancouver at the end of March. The talented tackle put up 23 reps of 225 pounds on the bench while leaping 34.5 inches in the vertical and 114 inches in the broad. He clocked a 5.14-second forty-yard dash with a 1.77 ten-yard split, plus recorded a 7.69 three-cone and 4.60 short shuttle. He later travelled to Indianapolis for a Top 30 visit with the Colts and worked out privately for the Buffalo Bills in Toronto.

Benedet is the second University of British Columbia player to make his way to the NFL this offseason, joining fellow offensive lineman Giovanni Manu who was selected by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round on Saturday.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.