It’s Not Over Yet! Bears Close to Signing Receiver Taylor Gabriel

The beat goes on for what has been a busy day of Chicago Bears news:

The Bears’ “dream pass-catching scenario” we discussed on Monday was thrown for a loop when the Miami Dolphins swooped in to grab Albert Wilson, but it wasn’t abandoned altogether.

Atlanta Falcons free agent receiver Taylor Gabriel is the new Albert Wilson, a receiver with speed to burn and upside to dream on, and he is signing with the Bears. The deal is expected to be a four-year pact, according to Andrew Hawkins, who was a teammate of Gabriel’s while with the Cleveland Browns.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Gabriel spent two years with the Browns before being cut in 2016 and moving on to the Falcons. He had a breakout year of sorts upon joining Atlanta with 35 catches, 579 receiving yards, and six total touchdowns (six receiving, one rushing). He was an integral part of a Falcons offense that was among the league’s most potent as he grew into a big-play threat that Matt Ryan could target when Julio Jones was covered. Gabriel’s production took a hit in 2017, but that was par for the course for an Atlanta team dealing with a Super Bowl hangover and a transition with a new offensive coordinator.

Gabriel was signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent out of Abilene Christian University, is undersized (listed at 5-8, 167 pounds on his Pro Football Reference profile), and worked his way up the depth chart and into a niche role with his prior team. Moving forward, Gabriel is expected to play a more prominent role in the Bears’ offense.

So in the end, a version of the Bears’ dream scenario played out with the team adding a certified No. 1 wide receiver (Allen Robinson), a versatile pass-catching tight end (Trey Burton), and a speedy receiver who with experience and upside (Gabriel).

Taking these deals for what they’re worth … and it’s fair to say the Bears have addressed three of their biggest offensive concerns during the first wave of free agency. Well done, Ryan Pace. Well done.

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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