Swiping Marquez Valdes-Scantling from the Packers Would Make a Ton of Sense for the Bears

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Swiping Marquez Valdes-Scantling from the Packers Would Make a Ton of Sense for the Bears

Chicago Bears

The Bears-Packers rivalry is rooted in more than 200 games that have taken place over the last 100-plus years.

And the latest footnote could feature a wide receiver passing through to the Illinois side of the cheddar curtain:

Evan Massey, who has had bylines featured at Forbes, ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports, and other outlets, reports Chicago’s interest in Marquez Valdes-Scantling. And while Massey is a relative newcomer on our rumor-sharing radar, Valdes-Scantling has long made sense as a plausible Bears target.

Back in February, we were discussing wide receiver as a Bears top priority in free agency. Moreover, MVS came up as a realistic target who fit as a possibility to sign among the secondary or tertiary tiers of free agency. Throw in how snatching Valdes-Scantling from the Packers (who are giving Davante Adams the Franchise Tag after extending Aaron Rodgers’ deal) and it only adds to the intrigue of the possibility.

Valdes-Scantling, 27, checks some boxes. Not only are the Bears a receiver-starved team looking for help, MVS figures to be looking for a team that could give him an up-tick in targets. Valdes-Scantling was in on just 62 percent of Green Bay’s offensive snaps, which put him behind Davante Adams and Allen Lazard on the pecking order. As for the production, the 26 catches, 430 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns in 2021 doesn’t really move the needle. But it is the big-play potential that reels you in. And in Patrick’s MVS profile, you can truly see why a Bears fit makes sense:

Valdes-Scantling could be a perfect receiver for Justin Fields. At 6-foot-4 having run a 4.37 forty-yard dash at the Combine in 2018, MVS is a big, speedy deep threat option for an accurate deep-ball thrower such as Fields. Valdes-Scantling’s 18.3-yard average depth of target ranking third-highest among wide receivers over the past two seasons. And while he spent much of the 2021 season dealing with injuries/COVID-19 issues, he led the NFL in yards per catch (20.9) in 2020 and was tied with Tyreek Hill for the most receiving touchdowns greater than 40 yards (4) that season.

If Valdes-Scantling is looking for an increase in playing time and the potential for down-field playmaking, then the Bears fit him as much as he firs the Bears. After all, Valdes-Scantling is just one season removed from a 2020 campaign in which his 20.9 yards per catch average led the NFL. And the Bears have a quarterback in Justin Fields who had the third-highest accuracy rate on deep passes. Oh, if only he had someone who could excel in this aspect of the game on the other end of the play.

For what it’s worth, an update with PFF’s projection put MVS’ next contract projections at two years and $20 million. The years and cash total are lighter than the three-year-, $24 million prognostication from earlier in the offseason. However, an average annual value of $10 million is a hair more than the $8.3M AAV from earlier forecasts. These are minor tweaks. But it isn’t as if we didn’t just finish saying that ever dollar under the cap is a valuable one.

In addition to having cap space, Chicago has Luke Getsy, who was coaching with the Packers during Valdes-Scantling’s time in Green Bay. And then there is Valdes-Scantling, who has the résumé to go along with the need to find a new landing spot. Could a fit be any more obvious?

Of course, early buzz about MVS and CHI isn’t that cut-and-dry. The Bears aren’t the only team needing receiver help this offseason. Meanwhile, Valdes-Scantling will likely shop his services around. He knows the Bears won’t be alone in inquiring about his services. This all makes for a fascinating follow. Especially since the fit is too easy to look past.

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Author: Luis Medina

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