New $30 Million Option Emerges for Bears at WR

Justin Fields

Getty Bears QB Justin Fields could use a few more talented receivers.

Anyone who watched a second of the NFL on October 16 likely saw a clip of disgruntled Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robbie Anderson getting sent to the locker room after arguing with first-year wide receivers coach Joe Dailey on the sideline.

Cameras spotted Anderson getting in Dailey’s face before having another argument with Panthers’ interim head coach Steve Wilks during Carolina’s 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

He was sent to the locker room shortly after that. Prior to the arguments with his coaches, Anderson was seen sitting alone on the bench looking very much separated from the team. The incident came on the heels of a report by top NFL insider Adam Schefter saying Carolina was looking to trade the 29-year-old wideout.

Considering the current needs the Chicago Bears have at wide receiver, should they call Carolina with an offer?

Robbie Anderson Has Likely Played His Final Game for Panthers

“One player the Panthers are open to moving, according to sources, is wide receiver Robbie Anderson,” Schefter reported on October 15. “The Panthers have had conversations with other teams about Anderson, and he remains a strong potential deadline trade candidate.”

Anderson has 13 catches for 206 yards and a touchdown through six games, but his stats are a tad lopsided. He caught five passes for 102 yards and a dazzling 75-yard touchdown in the first game of the season against the Cleveland Browns, but he has just eight catches for 104 yards in the five games since. He didn’t catch a pass Week 6 in the team’s loss to the Rams.

As Schefter also noted, Anderson was close with Panthers ex-head coach Matt Rhule, who he also played for at Temple. After Rhule was fired on October 11, trade rumors began to swirl around the wideout.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Anderson is a nice combination of size and speed. He ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, and he hasn’t lost much of his step over the years.

The seven-year vet has been extremely durable since entering the league as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets in 2016, never missing more than two games in a season. His best year came in 2020 when he caught 95 passes for 1,096 yards and three scores.

Should the Bears Trade for Robbie Anderson?

Heading into the 2021 regular season, Anderson inked a two-year, $29.5 million extension, but it wouldn’t cost the Bears much to add him via trade.

Per David Newton of ESPN, Chicago would take on the wide receiver’s $575,000 salary for the rest of this season, “while the Panthers — who restructured his contract in March — would take a $20 million dead-cap hit, spread across this year and next.”

If the Panthers are in get-what-you-can mode where Anderson is concerned and would take a future sixth-round pick, the Bears should pounce. He’s not a WR1 by any means, but he could pair nicely with Darnell Mooney and give quarterback Justin Fields another big-bodied target.

For his part, Anderson explained why he was upset when he approached Dailey.

“It’s third down, it’s a money down. I don’t think I should be okay with that (being taken out),” Anderson said about the situation, via USA Today. “So I made a comment on why I was taken out. Honestly, I was confused because I have never been told get out of the game. And, you know, upset by that. Nobody that is a true competitor would be OK with that.”

Anderson still has a lot to offer, and perhaps all he needs is a change of scenery. The Bears shouldn’t offer up much draft capital to get him, but general manager Ryan Poles should be on the phone. It’s also possible the Panthers will cut Anderson, so either way, it’s a situation worth monitoring for the Bears.

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