Although the Bears lost their top wide receiver today, they are set to add a receiver, as well:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2017
To be quite sure, Markus Wheaton is not an Alshon Jeffery replacement, but that doesn’t mean his signing is without merit. Given the Bears’ apparent approach to free agency (seeking out value deals), Wheaton makes a lot of sense as a bounce back candidate who can compete for a regular spot out wide as a deep threat, depending on who else the Bears bring in. At a minimum, he’s depth for the coming roster churn, with Eddie Royal expected to be let go.
Wheaton, 26, looked like he was becoming an important part of the Steelers’ offense in 2014 and 2015, notching 97 catches in those two season for nearly 1,400 yards. But a shoulder injury cost him almost all of 2016. Assuming the big speed is still there, this is a nice move. Wheaton also returned kicks for the Steelers in 2013-15, and could possibly work into that role with the Bears as well.
You have to wonder if the Wheaton signing ends the Bears’ pursuit of WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson.