The Chicago Bears have invested consistently in their offense over the course of the past several months. This is a good thing. They added two new quarterbacks in Andy Dalton and Justin Fields. Reinforced the offensive line with Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom. At wide receiver they sought more depth with Marquise Goodwin, Damiere Byrd, and Dazz Newsome. So it’s apparent they’re aiming to improve on that side of the ball.
It doesn’t seem like they are content with what they’ve done either. This past week they met with veteran tackle Morgan Moses and are still hoping to sign him. A clear sign the team feels it still has ways it can get better. If that is the case, then they should absolutely have a similar mindset at wide receiver. With all due respect to Goodwin and the other new arrival, none of them can be called genuine difference-makers at this point. All are what you would call “maybes.” Guys who might work out.
Having somebody more proven aside from Allen Robinson would be preferred.
Opportunities to do just that may not be over yet. There is still a chance somebody of note becomes available in the near future. One name that is worth watching is Jamison Crowder. The 27-year old has quietly been among the better slot receivers in the NFL. He’s topped at least 600 yards in five of his first six seasons. All while having the likes of Kirk Cousins and Sam Darnold as his quarterback. Now it appears he is at a contract impasse with the New York Jets according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.
Crowder, who’ll turn 28 in two weeks and still figures to have a couple of good NFL years remaining, has been missing from the Jets’ offseason practices, because he’s been “working through some stuff with his contract,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. That’s a nice way of saying the Jets are trying to get him to take what one source said was a “significant” pay cut from his $10 million salary, rather than having to cut him from the team.
It isn’t clear if Crowder is open to taking that cut. Several players in his position wouldn’t. This would ultimately lead to one of two things. Either the Jets accept him at his current salary or they decide to cut him. Don’t forget they just drafted Elijah Moore in the 2nd round back in April. So they have somebody ready to take over in the slot if he were to depart. Not to mention they signed Corey Davis in free agency. So they aren’t hard-pressed to keep him.
Chicago Bears should absolutely target Crowder if cut
While nobody would accuse him of being a star, he is certainly more reliable than any other slot target they have on the roster. Anthony Miller was a major disappointment last season. Both Goodwin and Byrd are more outside targets. Newsome is a rookie 6th round pick and also just broke his collarbone. Plenty of uncertainty remains at that position. Adding Crowder to the mix would give them far more stability.
This is somebody who just got done producing 1,532 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns the past two years. This with a highly inconsistent quarterback. Often the sign of good receivers is their ability to perform regardless of who is throwing the football. Crowder checks that box. He’s not too old and the odds are favorable the Chicago Bears could get him at an affordable price. Even if it’s just a one-year deal.
Something to keep in mind.
One has to imagine the Jets will reach a decision on Crowder around the start of training camp. If it’s clear the receiver isn’t going to cooperate on the contract, they may just end up releasing him. Presuming that is the case, the Bears have every reason to go after him. With all due respect to their other additions thus far, none have proven nearly as dependable as Crowder.