The Chicago Bears’ lack of established talent at wide receiver has been a focal point for most of the team’s critics this offseason. Aside from third-year pro Darnell Mooney, no other projected Bears starter is viewed as a viable weapon for quarterback Justin Fields.
Perhaps the old saying of ‘you get what you pay for’ applies.
The Chicago Bears have the fifth-lowest wide receiver payroll in the NFL. They’re barely ahead of the Atlanta Falcons..
While some will view this as a strike against general manager Ryan Poles, a closer look at the list of teams that don’t pay their wide receivers is revealing. The Baltimore Ravens, a perennial winner and playoff contender, is dead last. The Indianapolis Colts, who most pundits agree will challenge for post-season play, are second to last. And while it’s true the Cleveland Browns and Falcons aren’t among the NFL’s powerhouses, there’s at least hope that the Chicago Bears’ strategy can still result in wins.
Before this narrative gets out of control, however, we do have to note one glaring difference between the Bears, Ravens, and Colts. Baltimore has a first-round pick (Rashod Bateman) and an all-world tight end (Mark Andrews) on the roster. The Colts have a budding second-round star (Michael Pittman Jr.) and a 2022 second-round investment (Alec Pierce) on their depth chart. It’s fair to say that not all payrolls are created equally.
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Perhaps, we’ll view the Chicago Bears roster the same way this time next year. Mooney might be a breakout star this year. Tight end Cole Kmet has some Andrews-like traits. Velus Jones Jr. could conceivably outplay Pierce.
Poles’ conservative approach to his team’s wide receivers this offseason has set him up nicely for next spring’s spending spree. The Bears will have the most money to spend in free agency. If Chicago wants a wide receiver upgrade, they’ll have no excuses not to land one next March.