Chicago Bears 2022 training camp kicks off July 26 and will run through September 1. It’ll be an exciting time for a Bears roster that has undergone a significant makeover in general manager Ryan Poles’ first offseason. He’s added a blend of rookies and veterans who will compete for starting jobs on both sides of the ball. With a new coaching staff in charge of the depth chart, Chicago will be a meritocracy in 2022.
In this series on Bears Talk, we’ll countdown the days until training camp with player spotlights. Next up: wide receiver Tajae Sharpe.
Sharpe signed a one-year deal with the Bears this offseason after spending the 2021 season with the Atlanta Falcons. A former 2016 fifth-round pick from UMass, Sharpe spent the first three seasons of his career with the Tennessee Titans before signing with the Minnesota Vikings in 2020. The 6-2, 194-pound receiver has 117 catches for 1,397 yards and eight touchdowns in his career. His best season was his rookie year when he finished with 41 catches for 522 yards and two touchdowns. Now 27 years old, Sharpe is at a career crossroads on his third team in three years.
Tajae Sharpe hasn’t proven during his five NFL seasons that he warrants serious consideration in the starting lineup, but the 2022 Chicago Bears have an open competition at wide receiver opposite Darnell Mooney. Sharpe will compete with Byron Pringle — the likely starter — for the WR2/3 role. If he doesn’t impress early in training camp, he’ll be fighting for a roster spot by late-August.
Sharpe’s skill set is unremarkable. He has good size and length and has proven, at times, to have above-average body control and contested-catch ability. But he appears more like a guy whose value will come as a training camp player that levels up the competiton. The Bears’ offense is better off with Pringle’s explosiveness and a mix of Equanimeous St. Brown and David Moore competing for leftover reps than Sharpe, even if Sharpe has more production (as unimpressive as it is) on his resume.
Could Tajae Sharpe surprise this summer and emerge as a quality complement and red zone threat for the Chicago Bears? Sure, it’s possible. But it isn’t probable. At best, Sharpe will be a solid depth piece for the Bears’ passing game. At worst, he’ll be looking for work by the time Week 1 rolls around.
Bryan is the founder and managing editor of Bears Talk. His previous stops include Bears coverage for NBC Sports Chicago and USA Today. His NFL Draft and Bears coverage has also been featured on The Draft Network.