The Chicago Bears addressed a big chunk of their wide receiver needs by signing Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel at the start of free agency. They did well in that regard, adding a pair of big-play pass-catchers, who bring different skills to the table, for second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky to target in 2018.
And while the Bears are almost certainly done shopping for top-shelf items, they still have ample salary cap space (more than $31 million, according to spotrac.com) and could stand to add to the depth and talent at the position (especially given the uncertain future of Kevin White and Cameron Meredith).
So with that in mind … do either Odell Beckham Jr. or Dez Bryant interest you?
Beckham and Bryant are two of the NFL’s premier receivers. Both players command extra attention from coaches creating game plans in practice and even more so on gameday. And yet, both could plausibly be available this offseason. I’ll ask again: Are you interested?
Upfront: New York Giants co-owner John Mara said the team wasn’t shopping Beckham, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. HOWEVER, Mara also said he couldn’t stop other teams from calling to express their interest in the talented receiver. His denial was pretty straight-forward, to be sure, but there’s definitely some wiggle room on the surface (We’re not seeking out calls, but we’re not hanging up either), and even more if you consider the bluffing/leverage-grab games that could be at-play behind the scenes.
But even if it’s not entirely likely, let’s pretend for just a moment. What would the Giants be asking for if and when they received a phone call from a team inquiring about Beckham’s availability?
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it’s a steep price of at least two first-round picks. You can never get what you don’t ask for, so you can’t blame New York for trying … even though the team says it isn’t actively trying. But that sure is a steep cost. Only a team desperate for receiver help would pay that price, and, as we know, the Bears aren’t desperate at this stage of the offseason (thankfully). (Michael: To that end, I do not see this particular “rumor,” growing any legs, as it relates to Chicago).
Elsewhere in the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys are actively trying to get something worked out with their own star receiver. Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram reports that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hopes to put together a revised deal to keep Bryant in Dallas. But if it doesn’t happen, Bryant could be on his way out of town.
Dropping Bryant, who has a $16.5 million cap hit and could clear more than $8 million in cap savings, wouldn’t leave the cupboard totally bare. After all, the team signed one-time Bears free agent target Allen Hurns and and ex-Bears receiver Deonte Thompson in free agency. Dallas could also add a receiver in the draft. The Cowboys own the 19th pick, which could line them up perfectly to take Alabama’s Calvin Ridley, Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk, or SMU’s Courtland Sutton. From there, parting ways with Bryant becomes a bit easier to swallow.
In fact, Jordan Schultz of Yahoo! Sports sees that scenario unfolding once the draft is concluded. Schultz tweets the team will cut Bryant after the draft.
By then, the Bears will have probably moved on and found solutions at the position elsewhere, but still, the possibility remains. How would either move make you feel?