Alshon Jeffery - Free agent - If I were calling the shots at Halas Hall, I’d bring Jeffery back, but I honestly have no idea what will happen once the two sides begin negotiating this offseason. Jeffery obviously wanted more than what the Chicago Bears were offering lats year, so we’ll have to wait and see what his underwhelming 2016 season did for his demands.
I have a feeling these negotiations will be similar to last years. Jeffery will want more than what the Bears are willing to pay, but with one franchise tag in the books, a 2nd will be even more costly in 2017.
Kevin White - Signed through 2018, but the Bears have a 5th year option for 2019 - The uncertainty surrounding White is a big reason I think they have to think long and hard before allowing Jeffery to walk. In 2016 his season ended before he really got going. In 4 regular season games he had 19 receptions and 187 yards, and in the preseason he had 7 grabs for 69 yards.
If Jeffery leaves do you trust White as the #1WR?
GM Ryan Pace believes that White will make a full recovery from his latest setback, saying that his ankle injury is one that will not hamper him in the future. Pace also said that White will be the same 4.35 forty guy the Bears drafted.
Cameron Meredith - Signed through 2017, but then he’s a restricted free agent - I became a Meredith fan last year because of the way he improved in season. He led the Bears in receptions, receiving yards and in receiving touchdowns (66/888/4). I really wonder how the Bears view him. Do they see a guy that only benefited because of all the injuries (someone had to catch the ball), or do they see him a guy with upside?
I see a starting quality NFL wide out and hope he’s given plenty of opportunities in 2017.
Marquess Wilson - Free agent - Wilson has been hurt the last three years, but he’s still just 24 years old. Some team will take a chance on him, and I’d be OK if it wasn’t the Bears. If Jeffery doesn’t come back, I could see him returning due to his familiarity with the playbook, because he’s not breaking the bank with only 56 receptions in 4 years.
Eddie Royal - Signed through 2017 - I think we all believe the Bears will cut the oft-injured Royal, but honestly, they don’t need the $5 million in cap relief. It’s possible they keep him around and wait to see how the position shakes out in training camp.
Deonte Thompson - Free agent - I think Thompson acquitted himself well down the stretch, so much so, that I think he finds a job elsewhere. He had 21 catches from week 11 on and he still provides some kick return skills. The Bears will probably let him walk and look for a younger option for his role.
Josh Bellamy - Exclusive rights free agent - I’ve seen Bellamy listed as a restricted free agent as well, so I’m not 100% confident with listing him as an ERFA. But regardless, he’ll be back with the Bears if they want him. His hands may not be the most reliable, but he’s a Hell of a special teamer. I think the Bears bring him back because he won’t be very pricey and as a #5WR he has value.
Daniel Braverman - Signed through 2017, but then he’s an ERFA - Fan favorite Braverman will have a long road to the active roster. He has good hands, but he didn’t show an ability to get separation in his brief time on the field.
And then there’s this;
3rd surgery down. I don't think I'd have it any other way, the setbacks is what makes this story even better. Can't wait to work! pic.twitter.com/3yYZVAsZ7K— Daniel Braverman (@Dbrave_8) January 23, 2017
If he’s 100% healthy, maybe he comes into camp in phenomenal shape and wins a spot of the final 53 man roster.
Rueben Randle - Signed a reserve/futures contract - He didn’t stick on the Eagles roster last year, and the word was his route running was an issue. If he comes in with a full understanding of the playbook, in great shape and ready to do what ever is asked of him, maybe he can resuscitate his career.
Dres Anderson - Signed a reserve/futures contract - Anderson spent 2015 on IR with the 49ers after being an undrafted free agent. He is the son of Flipper Anderson.
2017 OUTLOOK - So much hinges on Alshon Jeffery. If he leaves, the Bears will have to add a veteran. I looked at some veteran options here.
There’s also a good chance the Bears draft a guy at some point too. Word from the East West Shrine game was that the Bears showed a lot of interest in the wide outs. I doubt they’d draft a guy early, but with them coaching the North squad at the Senior Bowl, they may have their eye on a few late round prospects.
The South has a slot guy that impressed the first day of practice in North Carolina’s 5’8” Ryan Switzer. If he’s there in the 5th round, he would be an intriguing player.
What are your thoughts on the WR position for the Bears in 2017?