Contentious Ex-Bears WR Lands Back in NFC

Javon Wims

Getty Former Chicago Bears wide receiver Javon Wims has landed on the practice squad of the Arizona Cardinals.

Former Chicago Bears wide receiver Javon Wims has found a new home.

The 28-year-old wideout has been signed to the Arizona Cardinals‘ practice squad, according to the NFL’s September 15 waiver wire. Wims had spent the last two seasons in the AFC, landing on the Las Vegas Raiders‘ practice squad in 2020 and 2021 before getting released in March 2022, also spending time with the Cleveland Browns this year before being part of the team’s final roster cuts.

In his three seasons with the Bears, Wims had 28 catches on 56 targets for 266 yards and two touchdowns in 33 games (seven starts) according to Pro Football Reference. He hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2020, his last year in Chicago.

Wims Had Contentious Stint With Bears

Wims was a seventh-round pick out of the University of Georgia (224th overall) for the Bears in 2018. He was a selection of the team’s former regime led by ex-general manager Ryan Pace and former head coach Matt Nagy, and while he never quite whittled out a role for himself in Chicago’s offense, his contributions as a blocker kept Wims on the roster — for a while anyway.

The former Georgia product’s time in the Windy City was marked by multiple memorable incidents, but unfortunately for Wims, they weren’t memorable in a good way.

There was the occurrence in November of the 2020 regular season, where he punched former New Orleans Saints cornerback Chauncey Gardner-Johnson twice in the helmet. Wims was ejected and was later suspended by the league for two games without pay for his actions.

There was also the playoff drop against the Saints in Chicago’s Wild Card matchup after the 2020 regular season.

Former Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky lofted a perfectly placed ball into the Saints’ end zone, only to have Wims do this:

Had he caught the pass from Trubisky, it would have tied the game in the first quarter. The Bears wound up losing the Wild Card matchup to the Saints, 21-9, and Wims was released by the team the following summer, in August of 2021.

Now, he’ll have a new opportunity in Arizona.

Incident With Wims & Gardner-Johnson May Have Helped Influence Addition of NFL’s Taunting Penalty

The incident with Wims and Gardner-Johnson was mentioned in an August 2021 report by the New York Times discussing why the league had decided to incorporate a new penalty for taunting.

“The N.F.L. Players Association, coaches and competition committee have all made a strong statement regarding respect among everyone on the field,” the league said about the addition of the taunting rule, per the New York Times. “We saw an increase in actions that clearly are not within the spirit and intent of this rule and not representative of the respect to opponents and others on the field.”

Per the times, Wims said Gardner-Johnson “had provoked the fight by spitting on him and ripping out his mouthpiece,” but “No one was flagged for taunting.”

The taunting penalty became one of the most talked-about — and oft-criticized — aspects of the 2021 season, largely because officials throughout the league didn’t enforce it with much consistency at all.

There were 61 flags thrown for taunting last season, and the league has no plans to stop enforcing the rule.

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