Another Bear who has spent a lot of time injured since coming to the team has been Eddie Royal. Royal was signed in 2015 and played just nine games with nine starts. This year, Royal was active for just nine games with one start. The Bears knew that he had a history of being hurt but signed him anyway and have learned their lesson.
They haven’t gotten a good return on their investment and the investment has been high. Although Royal’s salary in his first year was low ($1,500,000) his roster bonus was high coming in at $4,000,000. In 2016, Royal garnered a salary of $4,500,000. Next year he will earn $5,000,000 if he stays with the Bears.
With Royal hardly playing since coming to Chicago, it may be possible they let him go this off-season? Money shouldn’t be an issue. If they were to let him go, he would not leave them with a hit to the salary cap because he was paid all his money up front. The Bears would not lose out financially.
Chicago learned to live without Royal for most of the season. Granted, he can still be a game changer and proved he has something left in the tank but he’s hardly on the field. He takes up a roster spot that could be filled by someone who can be healthier and contribute.
When it’s all said and done the Bears should let Royal go. The need to find someone else to be their third option at wide receiver and punt return specialist. They shouldn’t miss him because it’s hard to miss someone who is never there.