Kevin White Leaving Bears? Latest Rumors on Chicago WR

Getty Kevin White #11 of the Chicago Bears runs after a catch as Deion Jones #45 of the Atlanta Falcons tries to tackle him.

Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White has visited the Arizona Cardinals, reports ESPN’s Field Yates. Many have speculated that the former first-round pick would fly out of the Windy City since Bears coach Matt Nagy made him inactive last November.

After arriving in Chicago out of West Virginia in 2015, he promptly suffered a stress fracture during training camp. After recovering in time for 2016, he caught just 19 passes for 187 yards. He has combined for just 6 receptions for 98 yards the last 2 seasons.

He does not look like he will be picked up for his last year in Chicago, as Bears general manager Ryan Pace looks to be clearing up cap space by jettisoning White’s 4-year, $16 million contract. Yates reported that this is part of a plan for a bigger transaction down the line.

Source: the Bears have created $11M of cap space by converting $13M of Khalil Mack’s base salary & roster bonus into a signing bonus. Chicago positioning itself to make moves if desired…

JJ Stankewitz of NBC Sports Chicago stated a few days ago that Pace and Nagy may be looking to clear room for a major signing to bolster the receiving corps.

The Bears will lose versatile special teamer Josh Bellamy to the New York Jets, per multiple reports, and are unlikely to retain 2015 first-round pick Kevin White. That leaves their wide receiver depth chart needing at least one player, possibly more. The Bears have been linked to New England running back/wideout Cordarrelle Patterson, who could add an explosive element to the offense.

Though they have $22 million in cap space, the options are running out in free agency. Odell Beckham Jr. is now in Cleveland, Antonio Brown left for Oakland and even secondary options such as Golden Tate has been reeled into New York.

The Bears don’t need much, as they already have options like Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and Javon Wims under contract. Outside of Patterson, a jitterbug like the Jets’ Andre Roberts could come aboard.

The veteran NFL’er has only recently become a major threat in the return game. He returned 40 kickoffs for 1,174 yards with one touchdown this year and also returned 23 punts for 324 yards with one touchdown. He is averaging nearly 25 yards per kick return in his NFL career with two touchdowns and 9.1 yards per punt with three touchdowns.

What about this April’s NFL Draft? They will have to wait until the third round or beyond to do so. 247 Sports says that they will draft Baylor’s Jalen Hurd in the seventh round.

Hurd seems like a good fit for the Bears and their offense because of his versatility. He began his collegiate career at Tennessee as a running back and rushed for 1,285 yards with 12 rushing touchdowns during the 2015 season. After his junior year in 2016 he transferred to Baylor. He converted to the wide receiver position and ended the 2018 season with 69 receptions for 946 yards with four touchdowns. He also ran the ball 48 times for 209 yards.

That versatility alone could be enough to pique the interest of Nagy and Chicago’s offensive staff.

Either way, White seems to be getting a second chance with a rebuilding franchise in Arizona.