It doesn’t look like the Pittsburgh Steelers will put disgruntled receiver Martavis Bryant on the trading block before Tuesday’s deadline, but a proven Pro Bowl receiver just might be on the move.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reports talk of a potential deal involving Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton has intensified after the team dropped to 2-6 with a recent loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Florio notes multiple sources have indicated that the Colts are willing to move Hilton, who turns 28 in November and is due the remainder of this year’s salary, as well as the remaining $38.542 million in base salary (per Over The Cap) stemming from the contract extension he signed in August 2015.
According to Benjamin Allbright, at least four teams have called the Colts inquiring about Hilton’s availability. However, Allbright reports one source saying the asking price is too high.
I can’t help but wonder if the Chicago Bears would be among the teams calling and asking about the cost of business to acquire a three-time Pro Bowl receiver (with three more years of team control after this season). If you consider the player’s age, aforementioned contract status, the team’s need at the position, and the recent loss of tight end Zach Miller, Hilton seems like the kind of player the Bears would be wise to target and team with developing rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
Would a second-round pick that would possibly be in the top-half of the round be a fair price? Would the Bears even go there? My gut is that, yes, they would, but a different and competitive 2017 team might be willing to do more than the Bears, who’d be acquiring Hilton’s services with the future, not this season, in mind. The NFL’s trade deadline is at 3 p.m. CT on Tuesday.
Wide receiver isn’t the only position the Bears can stand to make improvements sooner, rather than later.
Dan Durkin’s notes in The Athletic’s Press Coverage of Sunday’s Bears game reveals some notable statistical nuggets regarding the Bears’ kicking game, as well as some intriguing anecdotes from teams around the league who have had success finding kickers. It’s not as if the Bears haven’t tried to improve at the position, but the main contenders challenging Connor Barth have been Andy Phillips (waived in training camp), Roberto Aguayo (cut after a poor preseason, then brought back for a tryout), and Josh Lambo (who has since signed with the Jaguars).
Durkin suggests to keep an eye on Cairo Santos, who was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs in September after he suffered a groin injury. By all accounts (or at least his Twitter account) he is feeling better and could provide a slight upgrade from Barth. Santos has made 89.5 percent of his 38 attempts in the 19 games he has played since the start of the 2016 season. In Barth’s last 19 games, he has been successful on just 76.9 percent of his 26 attempts.