Bears Named Top Contender to ‘Steal’ 4x Pro Bowl WR in Free Agency

Davante Adams

Getty Davante Adams of the Green Bay Packers is set to become a free agent in 2022.

Davante Adams in a Chicago Bears uniform?

Stranger things have happened. The top receiver for the rival Green Bay Packers is set to become an unrestricted free agent next year, and the Bears are going to be one of many teams in the market for a top pass catcher. With Allen Robinson also set to become a free agent in 2022, the Bears are going to need a replacement, particularly with the future of the franchise, quarterback Justin Fields, in need of weapons.

Alex Kay of Bleacher Report thinks Chicago has a decent shot at acquiring the Packers All-Pro wide receiver, naming Chicago a top landing spot for the talented wideout in free agency next year.

“The Chicago Bears are another NFC North squad that would love to steal Adams away from their biggest rival,” Kay wrote on November 29.  “Chicago’s offense has been struggling in 2021 as it tries to integrate first-year quarterback Justin Fields under center. The team ranks dead last in passing offense, averaging fewer than 170 yards per game through the air, and its eight passing touchdowns are tied for the NFL’s fewest.”

Adams is averaging a career-high 98.5 yards receiving per game, and he’s already at 1,083 yards on the season. He has been one of the best WRs in the league for a few seasons now, and teams will be lining up to secure his services. The question is: Will the Bears be one of them?

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What Kind of Pay Day is Adams Looking at in 2022?

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported back in late August that Adams was looking to make around $27 million a year, akin to what the league’s highest-paid wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins is getting with the Arizona Cardinals. Fowler also noted the Packers weren’t quite willing to pay that.

Currently making $14.5 million a year in Green Bay, Adams is going to be heavily pursued by receiver-needy teams this offseason, and he’ll very likely choose the highest bidder. The four-time Pro Bowler has stated he wants to be the highest-paid wideout in the league, but PFF projected him to land a deal worth just over $23 million next season, which is just behind what Hopkins is making. Regardless of what he ends up getting paid, Adams is sure to be the top free agent on the market next year.

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Could the Bears Afford Adams?

If Chicago unloads some of its high-priced veteran talent on the defensive side of the ball, absolutely. Linebacker Khalil Mack, for example, is set to have a $30 million cap hit in 2022, and he alone accounts for 14.31% of the team’s salary cap next year. Trading him and/or letting players like Eddie Goldman and Danny Trevathan go could free up even more room for a Bears team that should be pooling all of its resources to build around its rookie quarterback.

Per Over the Cap, the Bears are expected to have around $44,160,664 in available cap space in 2022, and that’s with Mack and company on the roster. If they were interested in pursuing him, the Bears could be surprise contenders in the Adams sweepstakes next season, particularly if they free up more cash by releasing a few expensive veterans.

Of course, Chicago would also need to sell the wideout on a few things.

“If Chicago’s brass can convince Adams to buy in on the offensive promise that can complement a high-quality defense, the Bears will be much better positioned to compete for a divisional title and playoff spot in 2022,” Kay reasoned.

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