Just ahead of the Chicago Bears‘ Week 3 matchup against the Houston Texans, CBS Sports insider Jonathan Jones dropped an interesting nugget when discussing quarterback Justin Fields and the Bears’ offense.
In The NFL Today’s Eye on the NFL segment on September 25, Jones noted Chicago will be looking to add a wide receiver via trade before the deadline hits on November 1. “Expect the Bears to be active in the receiver market in a few weeks before the trade deadline,” Jones said during the live broadcast.
The Bears ranked dead last in the league in passing heading into Week 3, averaging 76.5 yards per game through the air, and the injury bug has been biting their receivers’ room since training camp began in late July.
Chicago’s lone third-round pick, wideout Velus Jones Jr., played in just one preseason game and has yet to play three weeks into the regular season. Wideout N’Keal Harry went down with an ankle injury in August and will be eligible to return by Week 5, and free agent acquisition Byron Pringle has battled minor issues since camp, as well. Thus, it’s not a surprise to hear the Bears will likely be looking to make an addition at the position.
Adding a Reliable WR Could Only Help Fields
Fields, 23, has completed 53.6% of his passes after two weeks, tossing two touchdowns along with two interceptions. The young signal-caller has yet to have a breakthrough in offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s system and has looked erratic and inconsistent in the pocket. Adding a veteran receiver or a talented young WR with potential surely wouldn’t hurt.
“The passing game — you’re going to need a few things for everything to go right,” Fields said on September 21. “First, you’re going to need protection, and second you’re going to need — for me — is timing, footwork, making sure I’m on schedule, accurate, and making sure I’m getting the ball out of my hand. And just, at the end of the day, when I throw the ball, you know, the receivers helping me out catching the ball. Every ball is not going to be perfect. They know that. So then just making plays also and then us just executing as a team.”
So, who are some possible trade candidates at wideout for the Bears?
Solid Potential Target Lies in Cincinnati
While the Bears might have options at WR in New York with either the Jets (Denzel Mims) or the Giants (Darius Slayton), both of whom have been rumored trade candidates, one intriguing possibility could be in Cincinnati.
Veteran receiver Tyler Boyd is in his seventh year with the Bengals, and he had over 4,500 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns in his first years in Cincinnati. Last year, he had 64 catches for 828 yards and five scores in 16 games, per Pro Football Reference. It was his fourth consecutive season with over 800 yards receiving.
The 6-foot-2, 203-pound Boyd sits behind Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins on the Bengals’ depth chart and has a base salary of $8.25 million according to Spotrac. He has cap hits of $10 million this year and again in 2023, which the Bears could afford. Chicago has just under $8 million in cap space, but it wouldn’t take much to change that.
Considering Bears’ general manager Ryan Poles is already expected to make a move, calling the Bengals to see about a guy like Boyd is something the first-year GM should consider.