Other than the offensive and defensive line, wide receiver is the most important position for the Bears to focus on this offseason. An upgrade to the receiving core would be insanely valuable in terms of Justin Fields turning into a legit passing threat. With that being said, Ryan Poles should not be looking to sign a receiver in free agency.
The Bears receiving core currently consists of Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool, Equanimeous St. Brown, N’Keal Harry, Velus Jones, and Byron Pringle. There is no lack of depth in this group. Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool can both be used as solid starting receivers. St. Brown, Harry, Jones, and Pringle are all very solid receivers off the bench that can make an occasional play. When you look at this group as a whole you can find speed, good hands, jump ball ability, route running, and just about anything you can expect from a receiver. The only thing you can’t find is a star wide receiver can do all of those things and be consistently reliable.
This year’s free agency-wide receivers are all extremely “mid.” Jakobi Meyers, Juju Smith-Schuster, Allen Lazard, Marvin Jones, and DJ Chark are the best receivers and not one of them provides anything that the Bears already have. Signing any one of these guys would be a waste of money that could go towards a greater need.
Ideally, the Bears should trade for a star wide receiver, preferably Tee Higgins. Tee Higgins has a strong argument for being a top-10 receiver and could really flourish as the first option for any team. Higgins provides exactly what Justin Fields needs to take that next step and the Bears have the assets to trade for him and the money to pay him.
If Ryan Poles is looking to add another depth receiver to his offense, he should be looking at the draft instead of free agency. There are plenty of options in the middle rounds of the draft that could fill another depth receiver spot well. Zay Flowers is a speedy and agile receiver out of Boston College who could immediately be a big play threat. Rashee Rice from SMU is a solid all-around receiver who could develop into an elite pass-catching threat. Xavier Hutchingson is a raw prospect from Iowa State and would be a great option for a receiver who can get occasional snaps. These are the guys the Bears should be looking to get to bolster the receiving depth.
There’s no reason for Poles waste cap space on an average receiver who will be splitting snaps with 5 other sub-par players. Trading for a star and/or drafting a receiver is certainly the best course of action this off-season.