Bears Named Top Trade Partner for Polarizing WR

Cole Beasley

Getty The Bills have given slot receiver Cole Beasley permission to seek a trade.

Wide receiver is one of the most glaring issues for the Chicago Bears this offseason.

Of the wideouts who were on the roster last year, Darnell Mooney and Dazz Newsome are the only two who remain under contract in 2022. Allen Robinson II, Marquise Goodwin, Damiere Byrd and Jakeem Grant are all free agents and unlikely to return.

The Bears also have just five picks in the upcoming NFL draft to address multiple needs, which also include offensive line, cornerback and safety, so it’s looking as though the team will be scouring free agency to help fill in the holes in its roster.

Despite their lack of draft capital, one analyst thinks Chicago could address its need for receivers via trade.

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WR Cole Beasley Floated as Trade Possibility for Bears

In his March 4 column for Bills Wire, Nick Wojton named the Bears as a top trade partner for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley.

“The Bears are hoping Justin Fields is going to be the answer to their quarterback question. They’re not going to find out if they don’t get playmakers around him. Beasley was a bit of a safety valve for Bills quarterback Josh Allen out of the slot. Perhaps he can do the same for Fields,” Wojton wrote.

Beasley, who turns 33 in April, has spent the last three seasons in Buffalo and had recently been granted permission to seek a trade, per NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo.

The “Bills have granted permission for WR Cole Beasley to seek a trade, though GM Brandon Beane told me late yesterday the team would welcome him back and ‘no door has been closed,'” Garafolo tweeted on March 4.

Would a trade to acquire Beasley be a good idea for the Bears? Controversy seems to surround Beasley lately, and it may not be worth sending any draft picks in exchange for a player who has been at odds with the league in recent years. It’s also unclear what Buffalo might want in exchange for him. A Day 3 pick should do it, but that may not be necessary.

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Bears Should Wait to See if Controversial WR Gets Released Instead

Beasley has made headlines over the last several seasons for reasons not pertaining to football. He missed Buffalo’s key Week 16 game against the New England Patriots in 2021 after testing positive for COVID-19, and he has been criticized for sharing his controversial opinions about the NFL and its COVID protocols, often arguing with fans on Twitter about everything but football.

It’s also possible Buffalo outright releases him, which is why the Bears should wait to see if that happens instead of trading for him. If he’s released, Beasley is worth kicking the tires on — but trading for a 33-year-old slot receiver doesn’t seem like the best way to rebuild your team, and it’s unlikely new general manager Ryan Poles will go this route.

That’s not to say the veteran wideout isn’t talented.

In his three seasons with the Bills, Beasley amassed 231 catches for 2,438 yards and 11 TDs largely working out of the slot. He had his best statistical season in 2020, when he had career highs in catches (82), yards (967) and yards per catch (11.8). Last season, he finished with 82 receptions for 693 yards and a score in 16 games.

Beasley is in the final year of his four-year, $29 million contract with Buffalo. Per Over The Cap, the Bills would save $6.1 million in cap space and have just $1.5 million in dead money left if they either traded or outright released him — which is exactly why the Bears should wait and see if that happens.

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