We continue our countdown to kickoff with our most important Chicago Bears series, going with number eight. Check out our previous in the series as well.
When the Bears decided to trade wide receiver Brandon Marshall in the offseason, the position took a hit. Chicago had lost arguably its best receiver in franchise history and had to replace a player who had 279 receptions and 31 touchdowns in three years with the team. It’s not easy, but the Bears have at least attempted to.
The team signed Eddie Royal this season in hopes that he could somehow replace some of that production. While Royal wont fully replace Marshall, he will help. Royal will be a viable target for quarterback Jay Cutler and one he can look to on his second or third reads.
The 29-year-old reunites with Cutler as they played together in Royal’s rookie season in Denver. It also happened to be a career-year for Royal recording 91 receptions and five touchdowns.
The chemistry between the two has yet to be fully re-discovered during training camp and preseason, but Cutler has noted that they have been working on it. I fully expect the chemistry to return this season and Royal will put up better numbers than we expect.
With the loss of first round pick Kevin White for possibly the entire season, Royal enters our list as the eighth most important player. Royal will likely enter the season as the Bears primary slot receiver if Alshon Jeffery and Marquess Wilson are healthy. That’s fine however as Royal can provide some value in the slot. But if Royal can’t produce as the offenses third or fourth option, the Bears could give a younger player on the roster a shot.
Let’s just hope Royal can find that magic he and Cutler had during his rookie season.