The Chicago Bears presumably saw the plan the Philadelphia Eagles had last season to help out Carson Wentz, the No. 2 pick of the 2016 draft.
Mitch Trubisky, last year’s No. 2 pick, was throwing to subpar receivers as a rookie. That wasn’t going to work in year two. The Bears knew their weakness and attacked it. First they agreed to a deal with former Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson, then they agreed to a deal with former Eagles tight end Trey Burton according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Robinson was arguably the top receiver on the market and Burton was probably the No. 2 tight end after Jimmy Graham.
Robinson got a reported three years, $42 million. Burton it’s four years and $32 million according to Rapoport. That’s a significant investment in Trubisky’s supporting cast, much like what the Eagles did for Wentz last offseason. Wentz flourished into an MVP candidate last season, and while nobody is predicting Trubisky to have the same leap, he is much better off heading into year two.
Robinson and Burton have some risk attached. Robinson had a poor 2016 and tore his ACL last season. But he had 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 and if he recaptures that, he’s a true No. 1 receiver. Burton just hasn’t played a lot because he backed up Zach Ertz in Philadelphia. But the talent was on display whenever he got his chance. He had five touchdowns last season in a limited role and the Bears are gambling on his upside with a starter’s role. Last year’s second-round pick Adam Shaheen also flashed some as a rookie, and he and Burton should present some matchup problems.
The Bears probably aren’t done stocking up at receiver. They will probably look at the prospects in the draft and perhaps even try to get another free agent into the mix. They also should get promising receiver Cameron Meredith back from a season-ending knee injury, though Meredith is a restricted free agent. Pair that with a good running game led by Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, and new head coach Matt Nagy has some pieces to get creative with.
The Bears invested heavily in Trubisky, moving up one pick in a trade to take the talented North Carolina star. Trubisky showed some very good things as a rookie, though he didn’t have much help around him. The Bears tried to rectify that problem this week.
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