New Veteran Option Emerges for Bears at WR

Adam Humphries

Getty Free agent wide receiver Adam Humphries has been mentioned as a free agent option for the Chicago Bears.

The Chicago Bears have yet to add any big-name free agents this offseason, and with training camp less than a month away, they’re very likely not going to start now.

What they have done, though, is add several mid-level talents on short deals with the hope one or two could pan out, so don’t be surprised if general manager Ryan Poles adds another veteran or two to compete on offensive line or at wide receiver.

Enter journeyman receiver Adam Humphries. A seven-year veteran, Humphries came into the league as an undrafted free agent, playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first four years of his career before spending time with the Tennessee Titans and the Washington Commanders. He would come at an affordable price, and could give the team’s young receiving corps a tad more depth and experience.

Joe Tansey of Bleacher Report called Humphries a player the Bears “must consider” adding before training camp.

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Humphries Is Realistic Option for Bears

Tansey thinks Humphries, who turned 29 in June, would be a more realistic option for the Bears in free agency as opposed to a few of the more marquee names still available at the position, like Odell Beckham Jr., who is expected to be recovering from a torn ACL well into the 2022 regular season.

“Yes, there are better wide receivers on the free-agent market than Adam Humphries,” Tansey wrote on June 29. “However, the fit with the Bears may be better than others with injury issues and high salary demands. The 29-year-old can be used as a possession-based wide receiver in the middle of the field. He could complement the big-play threats the Bears have in Darnell Mooney and Byron Pringle.”

Humphries played on a one-year, $1.19 million contract with the Commanders last year, so he would surely be affordable. And, as Tansey notes, the Bears could benefit from adding a few more players to compete for jobs considering their overall lack of depth.

“Quarterback and tight end are the only positions the Bears should not actively look at on offense,” Tansey added.

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Humphries: Background, Injury History & Stats

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Humphries had his best years with the Bucs, playing in 60 games and starting 17. His best season came in 2018, when he caught 76 passes for 816 yards and five touchdowns. He hauled in a total of 219 passes on 311 targets for 2,329 yards and nine scores during the 2015-2018 seasons before signing a four-year, $36 million contract with the Titans in 2019.

His time in Tennessee was hampered by injuries, however.

Humphries missed four regular season games in 2019 due to an ankle injury, and he missed significant time in 2020 after getting a concussion from a nasty hit courtesy of Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Jessie Bates. Tennessee parted ways with him in February of 2021 in a cap-saving move, and he landed in Washington after that.

He was durable and healthy last year, playing in all 17 games for the Commanders, starting 11. He caught 41 passes on 62 targets for 383 yards and no touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference. Other than his two years in Tennessee, he has remained relatively healthy, never missing more than three games in a season.

Humphries would be a more intriguing option than, say, Dante Pettis or Tajae Sharpe, who are both currently competing for a spot on Chicago’s roster. When healthy — and he appears to be 100% healthy after last season — Humphries has decent speed and separation skills, and his hands aren’t bad, either.

He’s also not a bad route-runner:

The Bears may not make any more moves before training camp begins on July 26, but if they do, adding Humphries is just the kind of move they should make.

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