It's a long 2 weeks until the Bears play again, so I'll just throw this up here because I've been thinking about how to improve the WR core of the Bears. Sunday's loss to the Packers reestablishes our need for a good-to-great WR with the ability to out-muscle and/or out-jump opposing defensive backs to bail Jay Cutler out of some iffy throws. Johnny Knox & Devin Hester can not do that. Earl Bennett isn't that great at it, and he doesn't have the athletic chops to be a #1 receiver. Aromashodu? We hardly knew you. We all know Sidney Rice, Vincent Jackson, & Santonio Holmes are out there. I highly doubt they leave their current teams though. I highly doubt the Bears will break the bank again for a FA either.
The resolution, or non-resolution, of the CBA clouds everything though. Will 4-year & 5-year players hit unrestricted free agency? Or will it be limited to 6-year players again this year? If the CBA is not resolved by time Free Agency opens up, then only those players with 6 accrued seasons can be unrestricted; the rest will be restricted. That will severely limit all teams' options in picking up free agents. Listed below are a couple of options you may not be aware of:
2010 stats: 50 receptions, 679 yards, 13.6 average, 5 touchdowns. Started 3 games when Donald Driver was hurt.
Will the Packers be willing to pay Jones like a starting receiver? If not, he may be one of the first ones out of Green Bay if he becomes an unrestricted free agent [if the CBA doesn't get resolved, he'll be restricted & hence, unavailable]. He’s as talented as any number of starting wideouts and has shown flashes that he could be just that. He has a knack of dropping passes here and there, but aside from that, James Jones is a complete receiver who can run the entire tree.
If the Pack make a move to get rid of Donald Driver, it would be to keep Jones. They also have Jordy Nelson to worry about next year. They can't pay 4 WRs. Someone will be out eventually. If it's Jones, then he might be just what the Bears need.
2010 stats: 51 recpt, 562 yds, 11.0 avg, 3 TDs. Started 7 games.
Houston paid #2 receiver Kevin Walter a lot of money last year, so they might not pony up more money for their #3 receiver. Over his last 4 games he totaled 22 catches, 287 yds, 13.0 avg, & 2 TDs.
2010 stats: 47 recpts, 718 yds, 15.3 avg, 1 TD.
He's a big play receiver and maybe a little redundant on the Bears and not what we need. He's got knee issues as well. Arizona is a mess and probably can't sink a ton of money into the receiver position with Larry Fitzgerald making so much money. No, Fitz is not available, he's a pipe dream.
2010 stats: 43 recpts, 562 yds, 13.1 avg, 7 TDs.
2009 stats: 63 recpts, 869 yds, 13.8 avg, 7 TDs.
He was hurt a lot in 2010, but he's fast and big. The Jags are a running team too. I doubt they let Sims-Walker walk. He'll need a big contract though, so he seems slightly more attainable because the Jags are not known for their big spending.
Malcolm Floyd, San Diego Chargers: 6'5", 225 lbs., 29 yrs old, 5th year.
2010 stats: 37 recpts, 717 yds, 19.4 avg, 6 TDs.
Really big guy. Sort of broke out with Vincent Jackson holding out and suspended. However, he was hurt a lot too; he only played 11 games. If SD breaks the bank to keep VJ & their other free agents, there might not be any more money left for Floyd. He is 29 though.
Now we're REALLY reaching....
Legedu Naanee, San Diego Chargers: 6'2", 220 lbs., 27 yrs old, 4th year.
2010 stats: 23 recpts, 371 yds, 16.1 avg, 1 TD.
Big, athletic, and strong. He lit up the Bears in their 1st preseason game. I remember thinking, who is this guy? He looked good. He had injury issues this season and only played in 10 games, starting 9 of them. He's not going to be your #1 receiver, but he's bigger & stronger than what the Bears have on their roster. The Chargers have a few free agents to take care of. If they pay Jackson and Floyd, than Naanee could certainly walk.
2010 stats: 30 recpts, 494 yds, 16.5 avg, 4 TDs.
Just had his best season and it really isn't anything great. Look to see what he does against the Saints this weekend. The Seahawks just gave Mike Williams a nice contract, so Obo might not get the same treatment.