Bears ‘Having Trade Discussions’ About Former 2nd-Round Pick: Report

Bears WR Anthony Miller

Getty WR Anthony Miller

The Chicago Bears are shopping former second-round pick Anthony Miller, per NFL insider Adam Schefter. The Bears traded up to select the wide receiver out of Memphis in the second round with the 51st overall pick in 2018, and he was ideally supposed to become the their No. 2 wideout behind Allen Robinson. That never quite materialized, and after three years, his days in the Windy City could be numbered.

The talented slot receiver led the team in touchdown catches his rookie year, when he caught 33 passes for 423 yards ands seven scores. He had a career-high 656 receiving yards his sophomore season, which ended in a shoulder injury that required surgery. He had arguably his worst season in 2020, when he had 485 yards while netting a career-low 9.9 yards per catch.

Miller Showed Flashes, But Never Became Consistent

He has caught just four touchdowns over the last two seasons, and while displaying flashes of incredible athleticism and talent, he has never strung together a series of games worth writing home about. In what will likely turn out to be his final game as a Bear, Miller was ejected from the team’s Wild Card matchup against the New Orleans Saints after he punched defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.

Both Miller and fellow Bears wideout Javon Wims were ejected for punching Gardner-Johnson last season, and head coach Matt Nagy said this about Miller’s incident specifically, upset at how thin his ejection left the team at the receiver position:

“What do we talk about? Every action has a reaction, and so I think it’s a valuable one, especially when we’re low with numbers at the wide receiver position, and the value of that Zebra position for us. We’ve all got to understand we’ve got to be stronger and we can’t have that happen … That’s two times that that happened, and we just can’t have it.”

Miller is entering the final year of his rookie deal, and should come cheap. He’s slated to make a base salary of $1.2 million, according to Over the Cap, and will save the Bears $1 million in cap space.

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What Does Miller’s Potential Departure Mean for WR Riley Ridley?

The Bears selected wideout Riley Ridley out of Georgia in the fourth round (126th overall) in 2019, and he has seen the field sparingly, appearing in just five games a year in each of his two seasons. Ridley has just 10 catches for 108 yards in two years, and if Miller gets shipped off to another team, I would fully expect Ridley to get the opportunity to fill Miller’s shoes. There’s no guarantee he will, but I doubt the Bears are ready to move on from the former fourth-round pick just yet.

“With Riley, he’s done a really good job of digesting everything,” coach Matt Nagy told the Chicago Sun-Times about Ridley in 2019. “He knows what he’s doing. He has a great feel. When teams play zone coverage, he has a good feel of that. He has excellent ball skills, so that’s just showing up.”

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