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Chicago Bears 2020 Position Battles: Decisions at wide receiver are looming

The Chicago Bears have only kept 6 wide outs to open the last two seasons, and with the recent revelation that Cordarrelle Patterson has been working with the running backs, things are getting interesting at the bottom of the depth chart.

Dallas Cowboys v Chicago Bears Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears did cut one of their starting wide outs from a year ago this offseason, but they added another rookie at the position plus added a veteran free agent. They also have a couple young players returning that will be looking for playing time, so there could be a surprise cut before week one.

Roster Locks

Besides making a decision on which wide outs to open the season with, the Bears are still weighing their options when it comes to 2021 free agent Allen Robinson. He’s still under contract for this year, and all indications are that he and the team wants to get an extension done, but so far nothing. General manager Ryan Pace has a track record of knocking extensions out right before the season starts, but if week one comes and A-Rob is in the final year of his deal that could be an issue.

Joining Robinson on the 2020 lock list is Anthony Miller and Ted Ginn Jr.

Miller will be looking to build off his 2019 second half that saw him catch 36 balls for 445 yards, Patterson is one of the best special teamers in the league and doubles as a running back, and the 35-year old Ginn may not still be able to run a forty in 4.28 seconds, but he’s plenty fast enough to take the top off the defense.

With reports of Cordarrelle Patterson moving to running back, that could open the door for a bubble wide out to make it this year.

A good bet to make it

If those three receivers are locks, that could only leave three more wide out spots open on the 53-man roster — but that depends on how they really view Patterson’s versatility. The last two years head coach Matt Nagy opened up with 6 wide outs, and I can’t see him pushing that number to 7 in a year where it seems he’s getting ready to increase his tight end usage.

Second year pro Riley Ridley may have an inside track on a roster spot this year as the coaches have already started talking him up based on his offseason work. He was only active in 5 games in 2019, but he was on the team the whole season.

On the bubble

Before reports on Patterson moving to tailback, I figured the final roster spot would come down to third year pro Javon Wims and rookie Darnell Mooney, and who ever they cut would likely come back to the practice squad. But if they do view Patterson with the running backs, then there should be a place for both Wims and Mooney on the 53-man roster. If it is an either/or situation then I’m leaning towards Wims being the odd man out.

Other wide outs battling for a practice squad spot are vets Thomas Ives, Trevor Davis, Reggie Davis, and rookie UDFA Ahmad Wagner.