NFL Free Agency: Chicago Bears WR Free Agent Primer

With the 2017 NFL season now in the books and all 32 teams now in the off-season, the NFL free agency period will be the next big date on the calendar.

The Chicago Bears, with new head coach Matt Nagy, will look to build their team through the draft and free agency. Here is a list of possible free agents to keep an eye on for the Bears when free agency begins on March 14


Allen Robinson

Robinson is another big time wide receiver who is expected to be apart of the 2018 free agency class. He has spent his entire career in Jacksonville and missed the majority of this season due to a torn ACL.

What makes Robinson a popular target in free agency is his potential upside as he led the league in touchdown receptions in 2015 and posted 1400 receiving yards that season.

Many believe that he can put up even better numbers as he was able to have success with Blake Bortles as his quarterback.

Robinson is a valuable target for the Bears because of  his size at the wide receiver position. He is 6-foot-3, 220 pounds and would be the Bears biggest wide receiver since Alshon Jeffery in 2016.

The number one goal of the team is in the offseason is to surround Trubisky with as many different offensive weapons as possible. A big bodied wide receiver helps a young quarterback so much more because it provides the quarterback with a bigger target to throw to.

Sammy Watkins

Another big bodied wide receiver with big-play ability that will be a free agent in 2018 will be Sammy Watkins who helped the Los Angeles Rams make their first playoff appearance since 2004. Watkins was traded by the Buffalo Bills before the start of the 2017 season.

During his first three seasons with the Bills, he averaged 51 receptions and five touchdowns per season. During the 2017 season he provided a deep threat for Rams as he averaged 15. 2 yards per receptions and caught eight touchdown passes.

The one consistent concern when it comes to Watkins has been his health as he only has managed to play in a full 16 game season just once in his four-year career. If healthy and in the right system, he can produce as his presence on the field led to his teammates have success of their own.

Teammate Robert Woods who played along him with in both Buffalo and Los Angeles has seen his own numbers improve each season since Watkins 1,000 yard receiving season in 2015.  Woods receptions, yards, and yards per reception have improved in both 2016 and 2017.

Albert Wilson

Kansas City Chief wide receiver Albert Wilson is one of the lesser know wide receivers apart of the 2018 free agency class, but it is his ties to new Bears head coach Matt Nagy that makes him an enticing free agent. It is common for a new head coach to target players that have either played in their system before or who the coach believes can perform extremely well in their system.

A few examples include when the Bears targeted Thomas Jones in 2004 because he fit the type of running back then head coach Lovie Smith wanted, and then Mike Martz in 2006, when he was named the Detroit Lions offensive coordinator, brought in wide receiver Mike Furrey for his system.

Wilson will have familiarity with Nagy’s offensive system which can give him an advantage in training camp if the Bears sign him. He has been a reliable wide receiver for the Chiefs over his four seasons amassing at least 250 receiving yards each season. Wilson has also been a reliable deep threat as he has averaged at least one play longer than 49 yards per season.

Paul Richardson

The Seattle Seahawks wide receiver has a breakout year in his fourth year with the team in 2017. Richardson started in 13 games and posted career highs in receiving yards, receptions, and touchdown catches with 6. He was Seattle’s deep threat this season as he averaged 16 yards per catch and had the best game of his career against one of the NFL’s best defenses in the Houston Texans.

Against the Texans, Richardson caught six passes for 105 yards and two touchdown catches. He also caught two passes for gains longer than 20 yards in that game. He would make a good fit for the Bears as the Bears had only two catches by a wide receiver that was forty yards or longer last season and only once had a wide receiver post a 100-yard receiving game.



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