Anthony Miller is gone. The Chicago Bears have traded him to the Houston Texans. It is an unceremonious end to what seemed like such a promising career not too long ago. Yet it has become clear the wide receiver had begun testing the patience of his coaches as far back as 2019. Both due to his health issues and also his lack of discipline. His inconsistencies mounted this past season and the final breaking point arrived when he got ejected from the wild card playoff loss to New Orleans.
With him gone, it creates some interesting questions about the wide receiver position. Expectations are Allen Robinson will see a lot more action in the slot. Especially now that the team has more speed on the outside with Darnell Mooney, Damiere Byrd, and Marquise Goodwin. The depth though is questionable what with rookie Dazz Newsome still recovering from a broken collarbone.
So here is a list of options, either potential cuts or current free agents they can look into to fortify the position before the opener in Los Angeles.
Chicago Bears may have some receiving options next month
Allen Hurns (Miami Dolphins)
It’s crazy to think a guy who cracked 1,000 yards just a few years ago is on the outside looking in of making a roster. Yet this is the case for Hurns. After suffering a brutal leg injury in Dallas back in 2019, he chose to opt out of playing in 2020 over COVID-19 concerns. Since then the Dolphins have made some considerable additions to their wide receiver room including 1st round pick Jaylen Waddle and free agent Will Fuller. Hurns is set to make $3.6 million this season. That seems way too rich for a player who may end up riding the bench all season. The Bears though might love the idea of reuniting him with old teammate Allen Robinson in Chicago.
Albert Wilson (Miami Dolphins)
Ironically, Hurns’ teammate is in the exact same position. He too opted not to play in 2020 and now sees a depth chart that isn’t quite as welcoming as it was when he left. Also like Hurns, he carries a hefty contract hit of $3 million. He has a lot of experience in the slot, which would help his case in Chicago. He also has ties with head coach Matt Nagy, having worked together in Kansas City. Bears fans probably remember him best for hanging 155 yards and two scores on the defense back in 2018. When healthy, the guy has proven he can have quality games.
DaeSean Hamilton (Denver Broncos)
Sometimes a player just gets trapped in a tough situation. Hamilton has found ways to contribute in Denver for the past three years but never got more targets than the 40s range. This is due to how deep the Broncos receiver position has become. It is why the fourth-year receiver has been on the trade block for months now. Presuming a partner isn’t found, he is likely to be cut. If the Chicago Bears are looking for somebody young (26) and cheap but still has experience? Hamilton is somebody worth looking at. Of course, he may not like the idea of being a pure depth guy again.
Donte Moncrief (Houston Texans)
There was a time when a lot of people were convinced that the former 3rd round pick of the Indianapolis Colts was ready to ascend. Moncrief had 733 yards and six touchdowns in his second season. Then in 2018, he signed with Jacksonville and delivered 668 and three scores. So he’s shown signs of being a serviceable wide receiver in the past. For whatever reason, he just hasn’t been able to see the field the past two years despite playing for three different teams. Ironically now that Miller is in Houston, it lowers his odds of making the final roster even further after signing there. If the Bears aren’t keen on going with Javon Wims or Riley Ridley, then Moncrief would be a perfect replacement.
Golden Tate (Free Agent)
Chicago Bears fans have a hatred for Tate that goes back years. Undoubtedly because of all the times he seemed to break their hearts, first in Detroit and then in Philadelphia. He almost did it again in New York if not for a timely penalty. Tate isn’t the player he was five years ago. At 33-years old, his value is fading. Still, in a limited role, he might still be able to contribute in a meaningful way. Especially on 3rd down and in the red zone. He always seems to find a way in those situations. Being a slot guy also helps him since that is the area Miller is vacating.
Mohamed Sanu (San Francisco 49ers)
It’s difficult to know how much the 31-year old has left in the tank. After going for a career-high 838 yards in 2018, he has declined rapidly with just 707 in the two years since. He’s also bounced between four different teams in that span. Now he’s trying to make one more go of it in San Francisco but there is speculation he may not crack the final roster. While never known for his explosiveness, Sanu was at one point among the better possession receivers in the league. Somebody who could be relied on for multiple 3rd down conversions every week. The Chicago Bears can always use somebody like that.