Former Chicago Bears first-round draft pick Kevin White has gone from the Windy City to the Golden City and now, he has landed in the Big Easy. After working out with the New Orleans Saints, White is signing with Sean Payton and company, according to a report by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.
White, who along with Amari Cooper was one of the most highly-rated wide receivers of the 2015 draft class, was taken with the seventh overall pick by the Bears in the first round that year, but injuries derailed his time in Chicago in a big way.
The Saints had also signed former Bears starting cornerback Prince Amukamara on August 2 before releasing him after the first preseason game.
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White Has Bounced Around Since Leaving Chicago
After three seasons in Chicago, White was released in 2018 after not fitting in with new head coach Matt Nagy’s offense. He signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals in March of 2019, but was released by August and wound up not playing at all that year. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 2020, spending the bulk of the season on the practice squad.
White played just nine offensive snaps in three appearances with the 49ers last year, and he last caught a pass in 2018, his final year with the Bears.
In his three seasons in Chicago, White played in 17 games, starting five. He caught 25 passes for 285 yards (11.4 yards per reception). He has never scored a regular-season touchdown.
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Injuries Largely Defined White’s Time in Chicago
White dealt with myriad injuries right from the start in Chicago. He had a stress fracture in his leg during his rookie year in 2015, and he suffered both a severe high ankle sprain and fractured fibula in 2016. He fractured his shoulder blade the following year in 2017, and even though he stayed healthy in 2018, he and Nagy just didn’t mesh well, and he was let go after the season.
For his part, White understands the perceptions surrounding him.
“I’m under a microscope,” White told NBC Sports in 2020. “So every little thing is kind of like, here we go again. And like I said, I get it. I get it. It’s just unfortunate.”
The new Saints wideout noted in that same interview that while he gets teams worrying about his injury history, his effort has never been questioned.
“People can say bust or whatever the case may be, and it is attached to my name by default,” White added.
“So I think for me, okay, you can say Kevin White’s a bust because it didn’t work out. Absolutely. But you can’t say Kevin White can’t play this game or Kevin White can’t get open or Kevin White’s dropping passes. You couldn’t say any of that. Not at practice, not in the little bit of games that I did play. You could say injuries, you know, held me back but you can’t say I was out there and just pissed it all (away) — you can’t say that. So that’s how I deal with it.”