Season-ending injuries to the Chicago Bears top two starting wide receivers, Cameron Meredith and Kevin White, and a lack of production from budget offseason pickups such as Markus Wheaton left Mitchell Trubisky throwing to what many would consider practice squad receivers all season. The inability to separate from defensive backs and stretch the field was apparent, causing the Bears to land dead last in pass yards per game.
Questions remain if Meredith will ever be same after season-ending ACL repair surgery, and believing that Kevin White will play more than four games in a season without being injured again may be an absolute pipe dream. With that being said, the wide receiver position is an obvious need heading into this offseason. There are some viable options to address this position in the draft, but putting into account Ryan Pace’s philosophy of drafting the best player available, and having the eighth pick in the draft, any receiver would be a huge reach.
Signing a veteran number one receiver would have more benefits, considering there are no clear-cut WR1’s on the roster, and the obvious lack of experience at the position surrounding a young franchise quarterback is concerning, to say the least. Though there are a few options in free agency, there are none that check as many boxes as the Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson, who is set to become a free agent this coming offseason.
Robinson would bring much-needed size and physicality at the line of scrimmage, something the Bears lacked all season with the absence of star receiver Alshon Jeffery. The Jaguars wide receiver has proven himself to be a huge playmaker and an obvious number one receiver who can stretch the field and leap over defenders to make difficult receptions
Unfortunately, Robinson is in the same boat as Meredith coming off of a season-ending ACL injury that happened just three plays into the season, during week one against the Houston Texans. Though Robinson was coming off of a subpar 2016 campaign, where he caught 73 passes for just under 900 yards, only a year prior the star receiver put up astronomical numbers catching 80 passes for an incredible 1400 yards and 14 touchdowns.
With that being said, there is a very real chance that the Jaguars may spend their franchise tag on Robinson, but if he hits the market, the appeal of an offensive-minded head coach in Matt Nagy, and a promising young quarterback in Trubisky may just be enough to entice the star receiver.
While the drop in production from 2015 to 2016 and the serious season-ending injury last year may scare some teams away, it may be a blessing in disguise for Bears fans. These points would undoubtedly come up in contract negotiations, and with Ryan Pace being very clear that he will not overpay for free agent acquisitions, it may be a match made in heaven.