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Wide Receiver Money Pits for Bears

The Bears have managed to steer clear of cash cows among free agency receivers but if they feel the need now to waste salary cap space on one here are the 10 best left.

First there was the demand for the Bears to bring in a veteran free agent wide receiver after Allen Robinson was allowed to leave.

When this demand fell on either deaf or prudent ears, there was the demand for a receiver at the top of the draft, either in Round 2 or by trading away picks to get into Round 1—as if there hasn't already been enough tossing away of draft picks in Chicago over the years.

The draft came and went but those dissatisfied with Velus Jones as a multipurpose big-play threat as a 25-year-old rookie demand a veteran free agent receiver again.

The only problem is the money has been largely dried up and the talent pool is even more depleted.

The Bears would be looking for a very specific type of receiver if they really wanted one. It's not necessarily an X-receiver, although it could be. It's not a slot receiver, although it could be.

"So, we want versatile guys, guys that can do a bunch of different things, give us an opportunity to do a bunch of different things with each guy," offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said. "So, we don't want just one guy that can run down the field. We don't want just one guy that can run a choice route.

"We want guys that can do a bunch of different things."

If you're in that wasteful group demanding the Bears spend valuable salary cap cash that they could use to give Roquan Smith an extension, and want a used-up old bag of bones playing receiver for Justin Fields, then there are a few guys out there for you.

Here are the best available unwanted receivers left in free agency, ranked in order. Let the buyer beware.

1. Jarvis Landry

He's 29 years old, coming off the worst year of his career the year before that was coming off the worst year of his career. However, he did get 83 catches for 1,174 yards in 2019 and 81 for 976 the previous year so there's hope he hasn't turned the corner toward that big receiver retirement home. At 5-11, 196, he does't have to be limited to the slot and could play some all over the field. The problem here is he would demand more cash than others.

2. Odell Beckham Jr.

He'd be No. 1 except for the minor issue of a torn ACL suffered in the Super Bowl. The Bears wouldn't be interested in a receiver who couldn't play until October or November and wouldn't be full strength until 2023, especially one with a prior history of knee injuries. Still, he has the all-around type receiver skill to give people pause to consider. This Bears offense is moving forward and needs young blood. That should be the determining factor.

3. Cole Beasley

He does't fit the profile Getsy laid out at all as a player limited to the slot. He does produce, however. He made 82 receptions, one more than Mooney last year, and did it each of the last two seasons at ages 31 and 32. He had 67 the year before that. It is true his average dipped to 8.5 a reception but had been 11.8 and 11.6 the two previous years and that isn't bad for a slot guy.

4. T.Y. Hilton

He knows Matt Eberflus from Indianapolis, is still 32 and maybe a year away from being completely done. He had averaged 72 catches a year over the first seven of his career, but in the last three averaged 41.3. They already have two receivers who have done better than 41 catches, Darnell Mooney and Byron Pringle. What's the point of spending for another one who won't be in Chicago in a year or two anyway?

5. Julio Jones

One of the more popular receivers with fans and capable of moving all over the field, that is when he can move. He's 33 years old, has had poor seasons back-to-back with injury issues in both. He made seven Pro Bowls and twice was All-Pro. You probably had him for a while on your fantasy team or loved having him in Madden  and base your desire to see the Bears sign him on pretend football. This is the real world of the now, and he's not going to be the guy you want on a team that  has a young quarterback and is pointed toward 2023 as a big season.

6. Emmanuel Sanders

At one point, he was a productive player wherever he played but he's 35 years old now. The Bears saw what happens to 35-year-old receivers when they signed Ted Ginn Jr. in 2020. It's like there's a ledge.

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7. Will Fuller

This is that $50,000 vintage late-model sports car waiting to be bought at the dealer, all polished up and shiny in the sunlight. It's the one that breaks down from engine failure the week after purchase. Name an injury and Fuller is on the verge of pulling it, tearing it or breaking it.

8. Keelan Cole

There is a big drop in what these receivers have done from No. 7 to 8 and none of the next three should even be considered. Cole is a guy who has trouble with catch percentage and last year made 28 receptions, which is about an average year for a fourth receiver.

9. Allen Hurns

He built up excitement over his potential with 64 and 51 receptions in his first two years of 2013-14 and then never had more than 39 since 2015. Hasn't played since 2019 because he opted out of 2020 and then suffered a wrist injury in 2021 and missed the entire season on IR. Move along, nothing to see here.

10. Adam Humphries

Between 2016-18 he averaged 64 receptions for 690 yards butsince then has had seasons of 37, 23 and 41 yards.  Those three years make him seem like Pringle, except minus a Hellcat.

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