Anthony Miller’s days in the Windy City are looking like they could be numbered.
The Chicago Bears traded up to draft the wide receiver in 2018, sending the No. 105 pick that year along with a second-rounder in 2019 to the New England Patriots in exchange for the talented Memphis wideout, but Miller hasn’t had the breakout general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy hoped he would have. Now, as reported by NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Bears are discussing trading the receiver, who apparently has a number of suitors:
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Miller’s Potential Final Game With Bears Was Memorable in a Bad Way
In what could very likely be his final game in a Bears uniform, Miller was ejected from Chicago’s Wild Card loss to the New Orleans Saints in January. He punched New Orleans defensive back CJ Gardner-Johnson after being warned by Nagy and the coaching staff to avoid conflict with Gardner-Johnson specifically. After Bears wideout Javon Wims had been ejected for hitting the Saints defensive back during the regular season, Gardner-Johnson had been on Chicago’s radar, and the team was clearly unhappy with Miller’s actions.
Bears chairman George McCaskey discussed the incidents with both Miller and Wims after the season, and he was quite a bit more critical of Miller’s actions.
“I have a bigger problem with Anthony’s ejection because they sat him down and they told him, ‘Listen, watch out for this player. He’s a punk. He’s going to try to get under your skin. And with Darnell Mooney out, we really need you to be in this game and help this team,’ ” McCaskey said shortly after the incident, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “And Anthony had the benefit of having seen Javon’s experience. … I’ve got a bigger problem with Anthony’s ejection than I do -Javon’s.”
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Miller Never Had Breakout Season in Chicago
The 5-11, 199-pound wide receiver showed promise his rookie season in 2018, when he finished with 33 catches for 423 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns. He had 52 catches for 656 yards and two scores the following year, but he regressed in a big way in 2020, catching 49 passes for 485 yards, two touchdowns, and a career-low 9.9 yards per catch.
He received an overall grade of 58.5 from Pro Football Focus last year, after earning a grade of 66.0 in 2019 and a 60.4 mark his rookie season. Perhaps he suffered from poor quarterback play, working with the likes of Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles, or perhaps he wasn’t a good fit in Nagy’s offense, but Miller’s mistakes always seemed to mar the occasional flashes of brilliance he displayed on the field.
He dropped three passes on 54 targets in 2020, and he had four drops in each of the two seasons before that. By comparison, Bears rookie wideout Darnell Mooney dropped two passes on 94 targets last year, and elite receiver Allen Robinson dropped just one pass in 150 targets, so Miller appeared to be the weakest link.
Now, the fourth-year wideout will likely get a fresh start with a new team, with the Bears likely turning to a talented group of receivers in the upcoming draft to replace Miller in the slot.