When the Chicago Bears added wide receiver Rueben Randle on reserve/future contract back in January, it caused a ripple through Bears’ fandom because Randle was a “Name.” He was a second round draft pick of the New York Giants in 2012, and in 2014 and 2015, he had 128 catches, 1,735 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Not bad production, but the Giants elected to let him walk following the 2015 season.
The word on Randle in New York, was that he was a lazy and easily distracted. Some questioned his ability to learn the full playbook as well. That reputation stuck, because the most he could get on the open market was a one year, $1.025 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles before the 2016 season.
The laziness followed him to Philadelphia according to NJ.com’s Mark Eckel, who said, “Randle had a dismal preseason where it appeared at least he didn't give maximum effort.” The Eagles cut him on August 28, 2016 and he didn’t sign with another team that season.
The Bears are hoping the athletic Randle, who must realize this is his last chance to play in the NFL, will come into camp mature and 100% focused.
Experience: 4 years
Weight: 208 pounds
Contract and salary cap
Spotrac has him down for a one year deal worth $775,000. There is no guaranteed money, and if he makes the team, his cap hit will be $615,000.
Reason for improvement in 2017
Unless Randle proves that he’s leaving his reputation in the past, I don’t see much hope. I look at this signing as one to bring a big body into camp, and to catch a guy at a desperate point in his life. If Randle feels he hit rock bottom as an athlete, having to sit out an entire season unwanted, then maybe he will surprise.
Reason for regression in 2017
Through his entire career, he’s been the same guy. He’s looks the part of an NFL receiver. He’s athletic, he has good hands, good body control, but on game day’s he’s inconsistent.
I can’t imagine the Bears holding on to him for very long if this type of behavior shows up during the preseason.
Watched Rueben Randle's snaps from last night. Embarrassment. Barely ran routes. Didn't block. QBs can't possibly want him on the field.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) August 12, 2016
Final roster odds
With Cameron Meredith, Kevin White, Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, Victor Cruz, Deonte Thompson and Josh Bellamy, all having better odds to make Chicago’s 53 man roster, I’m calling Randle’s odds slim to none.