The Chicago Bears did some roster shuffling this morning, with some of it becoming officially official this afternoon.
Let’s sort through it now that it is now in the books:
We have acquired receiver & return specialist Jakeem Grant from the Dolphins in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick. https://t.co/FkahSANXqX
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 5, 2021
It’s officially official: Jakeem Grant is a member of the Chicago Bears. Grant arrives in Chicago by way of a trade with the Miami Dolphins. Grant was third in the NFL in punt return average last year. So at least he brings a recent run of excellence in addition to experience upon arrival. Grant makes a special teams group lacking punch that much better. And when you’re better on the margins, you’re better overall. Even if it will cost the Bears future Day 3 NFL Draft capital.
In exchange for acquiring Grant, the Bears are sending — in their terms, not mine — an undisclosed draft pick to the Dolphins. Preliminary reports had the pick being a sixth-rounder in 2023. But that detail wasn’t shared in the team’s official release announcing the news. And the Dolphins didn’t offer up specifics on their end, either. Perhaps the future pick is a conditional one. Maybe it is something that vests based on snaps played, kicks and/or punts returned, or playing time. These conditional draft pick deals are old hat for these two teams. Remember, two teams had a similar type of deal drawn up when Adam Shaheen went to Miami for a conditional pick.
To make room for Grant on the roster, the Bears are cutting Nsimba Webster. Chicago used its post-preseason cut priority waiver claim on Webster, who was electric last season for the Rams and during the 49ers’ preseason. He hasn’t been able to stick recently, but he’ll get a shot because of his speed and/or that sample of snaps he got with the Rams in 2020.
So as one return specialist walks in the door, another leaves. Save for Cordarrelle Patterson’s two-year run of excellence, it feels like this has been that way of things since Devin Hester left the team. It would be nice if the Bears could find stability and a superb return experience with Grant suiting up on Sundays. I suppose we’ll find out starting this Sunday.