Not a lot of people are complaining about the Chicago Bears 2021 draft exploits. GM Ryan Pace received almost universal praise for his efforts over the three-day weekend. Among the highlights were of course his trade up for quarterback Justin Fields. Then the boring-yet-necessary moves to grab offensive line help in the form of Teven Jenkins (2nd) and Larry Borom (5th). It felt like the talent level on offense took a massive step forward in the space of 48 hours.
One minor problem that a lot of fans had? The lack of action at wide receiver. Fields is going to need weapons and right now the stability of that position seems shaky. Allen Robinson is back but only on a one-year deal. Anthony Miller remains surrounded by trade rumors. Javon Wims and Riley Ridley have proven little to this point. There isn’t a lot of certainty with this ground beyond 2021. Their only move of note was drafting Dazz Newsome in the 6th round.
While the young man has potential, it still feels like the Bears should’ve done more. That begs the question. Could another move be looming? Pace said the team expects to explore the veteran market again, especially as cuts are being made following the draft. Looking at the landscape, there are actually a few intriguing names worth watching.
Chicago Bears waiting game at wide receiver could pay off
Christian Kirk (Arizona Cardinals)
Arizona has never stopped making moves at wide receiver the past couple of offseasons and 2021 was no exception. Already they signed A.J. Green in free agency. Then they drafted Rondale Moore in the 2nd round. Together with DeAndre Hopkins, that makes for a formidable trio. It also puts Christian Kirk in a tough spot. The former 2nd rounder had a solid season in 2020 with 621 yards and six touchdowns. However, with his contract entering its final year and Andy Isabella eager for more opportunities? It feels like the 24-year old could find himself the odd man out.
Albert Wilson (Miami Dolphins)
He looked ready to break out in 2018, piling up 391 yards and four touchdowns in seven games despite Brock Osweiler being his QB. Then he got injured. The next year he didn’t seem to quite fit in with the new coaching staff’s system. Finally in 2020, he chose to opt out of playing. In his absence, the Dolphins added Will Fuller in free agency and Jaylen Waddle in the 1st round. It would be a surprise if they decided to keep the 28-year old and his $5.18 million salary cap hit around much longer. Do recall his best season came in 2017 with the Kansas City Chiefs, the same year Matt Nagy was the offensive coordinator. A reunion with the Chicago Bears would make sense.
Sam Darnold hits Jamison Crowder for a 23-yard touchdown! #NYGvsNYJ
— NFL (@NFL) November 10, 2019
Jamison Crowder (New York Jets)
The Jets were quite busy overhauling their offense in the past two months. Especially the wide receiver position. Corey Davis was signed as a free agent. Then they grabbed Elijah Moore in the 2nd round of the draft. No doubt the idea is to pair them with Denzel Mims to give rookie QB Zach Wilson options to throw to. Crowder has been their best receiver of late but his $11.37 million cap hit looks unnecessarily expensive. Given their newfound depth, they could decide to part ways, collecting $10.37 million in cap space. He’ll be 28-years old in June and had almost 700 yards and six TDs last year.