With Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields set to return to the starting lineup when healthy, the rest of the season has to be about evaluating his long-term outlook for the organization. They swung a blockbuster trade at the deadline, acquiring edge rusher Montez Sweat from the Washington Commanders. It’s a move that should be a boost to the team and, therefore the offense and Fields. But they could make a more direct move even with the deadline already passed.
“The Bears addressed one of their biggest needs by trading for edge-rusher Montez Sweat ahead of the deadline,” wrote the Bleacher Report staff on November 6. “But they could still use a young wide receiver.”
Bears ‘Lacking’ What Bryan Edwards Brings, Analyst Says
“Bryan Edwards won’t be the No. 1 receiver they’re looking for and may not be a long-term solution, but he’s only 24 years old and the next two months could serve as an extended tryout to see if he’s worth keeping around,” the BR staff continued. Also, Edwards would bring a contested-catch threat to Chicago, which its wide receiver corps is lacking.
Edwards had three receptions for 15 yards on five targets in seven appearances for the Atlanta Falcons last season.
The Las Vegas Raiders originally selected Edwards with the No. 81 overall pick of the 2020 draft. Edwards had his best season with the Raiders in 2021. He had 35 grabs, 571 yards, and three touchdowns on 59 targets.
He spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad after the Falcons waived him. And he spent the offseason and preseason battling for a roster spot with the New Orleans Saints.
Bryan Edwards 🙌🙌🙌 pic.twitter.com/bOINIw1AVO
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 16, 2023
Bears’ Wide Receivers Coming Up Short
The Bears’ top three wideouts are Moore, Mooney, and rookie Tyler Scott. None of them are listed at over 6 feet tall. And 6-foot-5 Equanimeous St. Brown is just now returning from a concussion he suffered in Week 5.
Chicago acquired Moore from the Carolina Panthers in the offseason, trading out of the No. 1 overall pick in the process. He has been as advertised since arriving. His 735 yards rank sixth in the NFL and his five touchdowns are the fourth-most in the NFL. That is despite his 47 receptions (on 62 targets) ranking just 17th.
And they still have pending free agent Mooney who has picked up his production lately. He has 12 receptions and 203 yards last four weeks but is in the last year of his contract.
Still, since they traded Chase Claypool, no other Bears receiver is listed over 6 feet tall outside of St. Brown, making those contested catches hard to come by and 50/50 jump balls an even more difficult endeavor.
Future Moves Bears Have to Consider
The Bleacher Report staff also suggests going after Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman in the 2024 draft and pursuing Miami Dolphins center Connor Williams in free agency. Chicago will still have among if not the most cap space next offseason even after extending Sweat with a four-year, $98 million contract, making Williams a possibility.
But their biggest piece of business remains cornerback Jaylon Johnson who is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season and, like Mooney, is a pending free agent.
Johnson demanded a trade but the Bears asking price was not met and they still have