This offseason, we’ve spent ample time discussing free agent receivers (many of whom have gone off the board) and draft prospects (some of which will not be available when the Bears are on the clock). But let it be known that there are other ways to bolster the collection of pass-catchers Justin Fields gets to target in 2022.
The trade market is an avenue the Bears would be wise to travel down, as their search for offensive firepower enters yet another week. And DeVante Parker is one notable receiver reportedly receiving interest after the Miami Dolphins’ major offseason acquisitions:
Dolphins GM Chris Grier says he’s received trade calls on WR DeVante Parker. He anticipates him on roster but they’ll listen. Crowded WR room w Hill, Waddle, Ced Wilson & Parker
Also says contract talks w CB Xavien Howard/his agent ongoing, hopes it gets done sooner than later.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) March 28, 2022
As Cameron Wolfe points out above, Parker is set to be part of a crowded receivers room in Miami. And with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Cedrick Wilson Jr. leap-frogging Parker on the depth chart, it is easy to understand why teams have come calling on Parker. Teams see the Dolphins’ offseason additions as a sign the team views Parker as expendable. That might not be the case. After all, Dolphins GM Chris Grier told reporters he Parker to be back with the team for another season. However, he also made it clear he is willing to entertain offers. In other words, Grier is politely asking teams to step their offers up or for other teams to step into the fray.
Could the Bears be one of those teams?
Chicago needs receiver help. And Parker could provide just that as he enters his age 29 season. Parker caught just 40 passes for 515 yards in just 10 games last year. But in 2019, Parker came through with a 72-catch, 1,202-yard, 9-touchdown campaign. So while he hasn’t matched that production in two seasons since, there is a base level of talent and production that suggests he could make for a low-risk option if the price is right in a trade. And after watching Amari Cooper and Robert Woods go in deals for Day 3 picks, perhaps those deals make a potential Parker deal a bit more palatable. In other words, a Parker trade shouldn’t trump the ones that sent Cooper and Woods packing (as those two receivers have better track records than Parker).
Parker has just two years remaining on his contract extension from 2019. He has $8,744,118 (2022) and $9 million (2023) cap numbers coming up, which makes his contract easy to swallow in a trade. On the other side of the table. Miami could create more than $3.34 million in cap space by moving Parker in a trade. Clearly they have motivation to get it done, too. Hence, my struggle to believe the Dolphins GM truly anticipating Parker’s return. And my insistence that the Bears should kick the tires on this opportunity. Don’t trade the farm to cut a deal or do one for the sake of it. But exploring creative paths to piecing together a better roster never harms anyone.
At minimum, this gives us a new option to discuss — both in terms of a new name and different way to go about getting receiver help. GM Ryan Poles’ actions to this point of the offseason suggest the team won’t pay a premium to add to the receivers room (right now). However, it would make sense that rolling the dice elsewhere and playing ball in a different arena could aid the Bears on their search for receiver help. We’ll see if anything comes of this as we move along in the offseason.