When the Chicago Bears were unable to land a splashy receiver addition via free agency, trade, or the NFL Draft, there was hope that the team could find other ways to net top-tier talent at a premium position. One such route still figures to be free agency next offseason. Newt March, Chicago currently projects to have more than $96 million in cap space. That could come in handy.
Another option was thought to be via a trade ahead of this season. And with the likes of DK Metcalf, Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin, and Diontae Johnson desiring new deals, there was an angle to make a move for a disgruntled pass-catcher. But we’ve since seen McLaurin get an extension in Washington. And when it becomes officially official, DK Metcalf will get his from Seattle:
This is a whopper of a contract for Metcalf, who leveraged not showing up to minicamp to help make it happen. That is HUGE money. And it is a big effing deal.
Metcalf’s three-year extension includes $58.2 million in guarantees, features a $30 million signing bonus, and is worth up to $72 million. That total value puts him in the top-10, while the guarantees and signing bonus money is also safely among the 10 highest-paid receivers. And for Metcalf, the best part might be that he gets to re-enter free agency at age 27. Metcalf, who has 216 catches, 3170 receiving yards, and 29 touchdowns in 49 games over three years, could conceivably land a similar deal when this one expires in three years. Heck, it could be MORE. It feels like saying “the sky the limit for receiver contracts” would be doing it a disservice. There might not be a limit the way things are going now.
Unfortunately, for the Bears, Metcalf’s re-signing with the Seahawks means we have to cross another player off our future wish list. But perhaps more than that, the Metcalf extension should further drive home the importance of drafting and development of homegrown talent. If none of these receivers hit the open market, the responsibility of equipping Justin Fields with a star pass-catcher will fall on GM Ryan Poles and his scouts to unearth such a talent. And it would be up to Matt Eberflus and his offensive coaching staff to get the most out of that player. Should this hypothetical star receiver reach heights similar to Metcalf, then we’ll be talking about finding a way to extend a homegrown talent like Washington and Seattle have done this offseason.
Even still … Metcalf was seen as an ideal fit for what Justin Fields can do as a quarterback in terms of slinging it downfield. A Fields-Metcalf tandem is the stuff Bears fans dream about when building a futuristic offense. Instead, they’ll need to turn elsewhere as Metcalf – who was set to be a free agent after this year – won’t make it to the open market.