The Chicago Bears have a need at wide receiver with just Darnell Mooney under contract for the upcoming season, not counting future/reserve contracts. With Justin Fields’ development being the most crucial part to this franchise, surrounding him with weapons should be the top priority in free agency and the upcoming draft.
With just a day before the “legal tampering” period, the Bears are already being connected to a former Pro Bowl receiver.
Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Bears are expected to pursue JuJu Smith-Schuster this week, as are other teams as he notes in his latest piece:
JuJu Smith-Schuster will have options this week, starting with a potential re-signing with Pittsburgh. The Eagle, Chiefs, Bears and Jaguars also could be involved come Monday’s tampering period, I’m told. Additionally, the Raiders and Patriots have interest in vertical threat DJ Chark Jr. — Fowler
The 25-year-old Smith-Schuster has caught 323 passes for 3,855 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns in his five-year career with Pittsburgh. He re-signed in the Steel City last offseason on a one-year deal but did suffer an injury that caused him to miss 12 games this past season.
Still, Smith-Schuster does appear to still have a lot in the tank and could benefit from a change of scenery for his career. When healthy, he’s been able to produce including a career-high 111 receptions for 1,426 yards and 7 touchdowns in his second season back in 2018 which earned him a Pro Bowl spot.
He’s projected to get a one-year deal somewhere worth $8M per PFF, but that likely would change if a bidding war happens in his market with multiple teams.
Keep an eye on this target this week as Chicago could look to load up the talent around Fields and change their receiver room as they go into the 2022 season. The Bears should be involved here and with other receivers.
Make sure to check out our Bears forum for the latest on the team.