The Chicago Bears’ 2022 offseason was dominated by the suggestion that general manager Ryan Poles didn’t do enough to help quarterback Justin Fields and the offense. No high-priced offensive linemen or wide receivers were signed in free agency. The 2022 NFL Draft resulted in mid-rounders at both positions. But Poles’ steady and calculated moves to improve the skill level on offense has been commendable, including Thursday’s decision to add former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette off waivers.
First, let’s be clear: Smith-Marsette isn’t a superstar and he probably won’t emerge as a viable target for Fields anytime soon. But he is another young and talented playmaker who has a chance to earn meaningful reps on a team with an otherwise unsettled wide receiver depth chart.
Adding Smith-Marsette to the roster is the equivalent of the Bears drafting another wide receiver in the 2022 draft. He just turned 23 years old in August and brings some regular season NFL experience to Chicago. He logged 86 snaps as a rookie and finished the 2021 season with a three-catch, 106-yard performance against the Bears in Week 18.