Anthony Miller was rumored to be on the trade block this offseason, but the Chicago Bears seem to have had a change of heart where the fourth-year wide receiver is concerned. Chicago moved up in the 2018 Draft to select the 26-year-old wide receiver in the second round (51st overall), but despite showing flashes multiple times over his first three seasons, Miller has yet to break out or become the solid No. 2 behind Allen Robinson the team hoped he would.
There was also the incident with New Orleans Saints defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in the Wild Card round last year. In a game in which fellow wideout Darnell Mooney was sitting out due to injury, Miller got ejected for punching Gardner-Johnson — after he was warned by his coaches not to engage with the Saints safety, who has a reputation as an instigator on the field. His ejection left his coaches disappointed and his team without two of its top three receivers in the most important game of the season.
Trade rumors flew after that — but not only did the Bears not trade Miller, they have gone out of their way to compliment the wideout publicly since the trade rumors ran rampant just a few months back.
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Bears Have Back-Tracked on Their Issues With Miller
When wide receiver Mike Furrey seemingly called Miller out publicly in mid-May, it looked as though a trade was still very much on the table. When asked directly about Miller specifically and where the receiver stood, Furrey said this:
“It’s not going to be a need-base, you know — we don’t need you. We’ve got guys that are going to be able to produce. You better be a pro, you better be on your details, you better do what we’re asking you to do.”
Head coach Matt Nagy then did damage control after Furrey’s comments, bringing it up without being asked:
“He’s super motivated to have a great offseason and training camp and control what he can control. But I know that that was kind of a big deal the other day and I just wanted to kind of try to clear that up and say that Anthony has been doing a hell of a job and he’s going to compete with the rest of these guys,” Nagy said about Miller, via The Athletic.
“Anthony has done everything we’ve asked him to do up to this point and he’s really, really eager to get out here and compete,” Nagy added in an appearance on the Mully & Haugh Show May 17. “He’s one of the most competitive players that I’ve ever been around. He understands that there are some parts in his game that he needs to get a little better at.”
Now, it’s looking like Miller may be poised to take another step — and based on his recent social media activity, he may be ready to do it with Justin Fields as his quarterback.
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Miller Shared Video of Circus Grab From Fields
After spending the last three seasons playing with Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles, Miller seems particularly stoked to be catching passes from the 22-year-old rookie quarterback. When a fan asked his thoughts about Fields on Twitter May 21, Miller responded:
“He can throw tf out the ball.”
Less than a month later, the wide receiver shared the following video on his Instagram story, which features him making a ridiculous one-handed circus catch in the end zone on a pass that was a tad overthrown by Fields. Here’s a look at the play, via Nicholas Moreano of The Chicago Audible:
That was quite a leap and snag from Miller, who has made excellent, game-winning catches before — but he has also displayed some route-running issues, and as Nagy noted, there are still some things he needs to shore up. Maybe he just needed to find a quarterback he clicked with, though — and maybe Fields is that guy.
It’s just one video, but Miller hasn’t been talking about how far Andy Dalton heaves the ball, so while I won’t read too much into the wideout’s social media activity, Miller’s potential chemistry with Fields will absolutely be something worth watching.