Chicago Bears and general manager Ryan Pace made a surprising decision on Wednesday declining to match the New Orleans Saints offer sheet to wide receiver Cameron Meredith.
Meredith will now join the Saints on a two-year deal that is worth nine million dollars. Many believed the Bears would match the offer sheet due to their poor production at the position last season.
Bears are not matching two-year, $10 million offer sheet that RFA WR Cameron Meredith signed last week with the New Orleans Saints, per league source.
Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy met with Meredith to inform him of decision.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 11, 2018
Meredith played three seasons with the Bears with his most productive season coming in 2016 when he hauled in 66 catches for 888 yards and four touchdowns. He was expected to be the Bears top wide receiver in 2017, but was lost for the season in the third pre-season game when he tore his ACL after being tackled awkwardly.
The move will most likely mean that the Bears will now target a wide receiver in the mid rounds of the draft this year. The team was predicted to draft a wide receiver even if they had re-signed Meredith, but now it seems all but a given now. Without him or drafting a wide receiver, the team will leave itself thin on the depth chart for wide receivers as they currently only have four with more than one year’s experience.
With the knee injury, the likelihood that the Bears would bring back Meredith was relatively high. He had improved each of his first two seasons with the team and was a great discovery as an undrafted free agent for Pace. It is now up to Pace to fill the void that will be left by Meredith.