Christian Kirk is coming off a career year with the Arizona Cardinals, and he is headed for free agency this offseason.
The Chicago Bears will be losing their erstwhile top wideout, Allen Robinson, to free agency, so they’ll be in the market for a solid pass catcher or two in the coming months.
Robinson had 255 catches and over 3,000 yards in his first three seasons with the Bears before having the worst statistical season of his career in 2021. A-Rob finished with just 38 catches for 410 yards and a touchdown, the lowest numbers of his eight-year career save for the 2017 season, in which he missed 15 games after tearing his ACL.
The Bears have multiple other needs (offensive line, defensive back) to address this offseason, and they currently have just under $40 million in cap space, so they’ll need to be smart with their spending. Would adding Kirk be a wise move?
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Would Kirk Be a Good Fit for Bears?
Kirk finished with five touchdowns and career highs in catches (77) and yards (984), leading Arizona in the latter two categories. He had six drops on the season, and his QBs had a passer rating of 114.5 when throwing his way.
Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus noted that Kirk’s ability to stretch defenses from the slot could really open things up for quarterback Justin Fields and the rest of the Bears’ offense.
Here’s Spielberger’s logic for naming the Bears the “perfect fit” for Kirk this offseason:
The only wide receiver currently under contract with the Bears for 2022 is 2020 fifth-round pick Darnell Mooney. Chicago desperately needs to add more weapons for quarterback Justin Fields, especially without a first- or fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and Kirk could be a perfect fit. The Cardinals moved Kirk into the slot this season to deploy him as a field-stretching vertical threat over the middle, and he set career highs across the board with 77 receptions for 984 yards and a 72.7 PFF grade. A similar role in Chicago would make for a great one-two punch with Mooney out wide.
What Will Kirk Be Commanding in the Open Market?
Spotrac has Kirk projected to sign a four-year, $50,424,744 million deal ($12,606,186 per season), which is right in the ballpark of what Chicago can afford. Finding some top-tier offensive line talent is of paramount importance, and if the Bears drop $12 million per season on Kirk, they’ll still have plenty of room to shore up the line by adding a quality free agent or two.
A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, Kirk broke his foot his rookie season and he suffered an ankle sprain the following year. His injury history is relatively clean other than that.
He hasn’t had much to say about his pending free agency.
“I’ll be in Arizona for the rest of my life, regardless of if I am (playing) here or not,” Kirk said in September 2021 when he was asked about his future, per the Cardinals’ official website. “I would definitely love to be here. But it’s one of those things where I am taking it one game at a time, trying to keep it one of those things I focus on after the season.”
With the Cardinals’ season now over, his future will be determined soon — and the Bears would be wise to keep Kirk near the top of their wide receiver wish list because he certainly seems like a wideout on his way up.
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