Report: Bears Are NOT Matching Saints Offer Sheet for Cameron Meredith

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Report: Bears Are NOT Matching Saints Offer Sheet for Cameron Meredith

Chicago Bears

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Chicago Bears have made a decision regarding Cameron Meredith’s future, and it’s one that is a bit surprising:

Schefter reports the Bears are not matching the two-year offer sheet worth nearly $10 million that was signed last week. The decision not to do so was “mainly medical,” according to Schefter. If you’ll recall, Meredith suffered a season-ending ACL/MCL tear in the Bears’ third preseason game. And while things were reportedly looking good with the expectation being Meredith would be ready to go for training camp, it’s evident the Bears were hesitant to lock in more money on a multi-year deal for a second player coming off season-ending knee surgery.

With that in mind, the thinking behind the Bears’ reasoning could be viewed as reasonable, but also not satisfying. Matching the offer sheet seemed like a no-brainer decision for a team with the fifth-most available cap space and a lack of depth behind free agent additions Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. Despite having needs at other positions, losing Meredith puts the Bears in the fray to possibly use their second-round pick on a pass-catcher.

This would not have been an issue had the Bears placed the second-round tender on Meredith, as teams would have likely been scared off by the risk of having to send Chicago compensation for signing an offer sheet that wasn’t matched. Then again, the Bears weren’t going to give Meredith a second-round tender if they weren’t confident in where he was in the recovery process.

Meredith was expected to be the Bears’ best receiver going into the 2017 season. An undrafted free agent from Illinois State who was a converted quarterback, Meredith had a breakout 2016 season as he led the team with 66 catches, 888 yards, and chipped in with four receiving touchdowns. He also served as the inspiration for the Eagles to break out the “Philly Special” in the team’s Super Bowl win.

Now, Meredith will join a high-powered Saints offense led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees and Super Bowl-winning head coach Sean Payton. From Meredith’s perspective, you couldn’t ask for a better spot for a soft landing.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.