Anthony Miller will go down as another in a long line of disappointments at wide receiver for the Chicago Bears. Though he might be the most frustrating of all. Anybody who has watched him the past three seasons can see the talent. This kid is capable of making Pro Bowls. Capable of posting 1,000 yards per season. Yet for whatever reason, he can’t seem to put it all together on a consistent basis.
Frustrations with him finally seemed to reach a breaking point in January. Not only did Miller manage just two catches for 13 yards in the playoff loss for the Saints, but he also put a stamp on an ugly afternoon by getting ejected for punching a defender. This despite being warned all week to avoid engaging that exact defender by coaches.
The Bears are ready to move on. It comes down to what they feel they can get back for him in a trade. Ian Rapoport revealed on Wednesday that multiple teams are interested in him. History suggests Chicago can probably get a mid-rounder. Most likely a 5th. However, there may be a creative way for them to get something more.
Here is a possibility they should consider.
Anthony Miller and a 3rd round pick to Patriots for J.C. Jackson
Why the Patriots would do it:
Start with the fact they placed a 2nd round tender on him as a restricted free agent. If New England were dead set on keeping him, they’d have used a 1st rounder. Jackson has 14 interceptions in his past two seasons and is 25-years old. His size, athleticism, and ball skills all stand out. The problem is the Patriots are already paying a ton of money to Stephon Gilmore. Combine that with a strong incoming draft class and Joejuan Williams waiting in the wings? They probably feel they can do fine without him.
Then there is the other side of the ball. Julian Edelman reportedly continues to have knee problems that haven’t gone away. They’re also shopping former 1st round pick N’Keal Harry. Miller exhibits the type of skill set they prefer with quickness, agility, and sharp route running. He and Nelson Agholor could make for a decent pairing and insurance in case Edelman can’t stay healthy.
Why the Bears would do it:
The Bears defense took a considerable hit this offseason when they were forced to cut Kyle Fuller. Just like that, they lost their best defensive back. Jaylon Johnson has promise but nobody can call him a definite long-term replacement for what Fuller was. Desmond Trufant isn’t that either. This team needs solutions at cornerback if the defense is going to stay strong in 2021. Jackson would be a perfect fit.
They’re willing to trade Anthony Miller already, so that isn’t a big loss. As for the 3rd rounder, it is a high enough pick to entice the Patriots but still allows them to keep their top two selections. Both of which could then be exclusively devoted to upgrading the offense. The challenging part would be Jackson’s contract. He is obviously going to want an extension. Chicago should be able to do it where they can keep his 2021 cap hit low and give him his big money in 2022 and beyond.