Over the weekend, the Chicago Bears made the move to trade wide receiver Anthony Miller to the Houston Texans for a late-round draft pick. While many fans are quick to jump on GM Ryan Pace for yet another failure in his drafting choices, I think it’s safe to say that Miller pushed himself out of Chicago.
And there are a few different reasons for that.
The former second-round pick has been steadily on the decline since his rookie season (2018) and even lost his spot on the depth chart to Darnell Mooney early last season. Much of the blame can be put on inconsistent play at quarterback but as we saw in his rookie season but he did catch 7 touchdowns. Since then, Miller has just 4 touchdowns in the previous two seasons.
In his rookie season, Miller was targeted 54 times with 33 receptions bringing in 423 receiving yards with the 7 touchdowns. Not too terrible for a rookie. And while his receiving yards increased in 2019 to 656, his catch percentage remained the same with no improvement. In his 2020 season, his receiving yards dropped to 485 even after being targeted 76 times.
Not once in any of his three seasons with the Chicago Bears was Anthony Miller ever able to record a 100+ yard game. While Anthony Miller has been known to drop a few passes, it may not be as many as Bears fans think. The reason they’re so well-remembered is that several were in the end zone and another resulted in an interception:
Which receivers have cost their teams the most expected points from dropped passes this season?
Anthony Miller of the Bears tops the list despite having only four drops. Of those four, two were in the end zone and another resulted in an interception. pic.twitter.com/nxcsmXCnwJ
— Anthony Reinhard (@reinhurdler) November 12, 2020
While underperformance is always a good reason to trade or cut a player, Anthony Miller has also been a disappointment when it came down to being a team player. Many Bears fans will remember the Wild Card game back in January when Miller was ejected for punching Saints CB C.J. Gardner-Johnson. This came even with Matt Nagy spending valuable minutes in a meeting leading up to the game alerting Bears receivers to not engage with Gardner-Johnson’s antics.
Another issue occurred weeks earlier with Gardner-Johnson and Bears WR Javon Wims, who was also ejected.
According to Bears chairman, George McCaskey, all the players were warned about Gardner-Johnson going into the playoff game. McCaskey even voiced his frustration on 670 The Score’s “Waddle and Silvy” show: “I have a bigger problem with Anthony’s ejection because they sat him down and they told him, ‘Listen, watch out for this player…'”
Anthony Miller was a second-round pick in 2018, but since his draft capital has dropped substantially. The late-round pick the Chicago Bears received for him is justified.