Chicago Bears: 5 Overlooked free agents Ryan Pace needs to sign

Chicago Bearas (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
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Chicago Bears, Phillip Dorsett
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Phillip Dorsett – WR

The Chicago Bears let Taylor Gabriel go this offseason and are essentially on the books for $2 million dollars for his contract this year and another $1 million in 2021. Ryan Pace made the right move in cutting Gabriel, but it created a void in the Bears wide receiver corps. The current group does not have a speedy wide receiver to help them keep defenses honest — a guy who can take the top off the defense and go deep.

When replacing Gabriel, Pace needs to look for a guy who has that upside but will not cost them as much as what they were going to wind up paying Gabriel over the next two years. Gabriel was set to make $6.5 million this season and $7.5 million in 2021. Otherwise, why cut him? One of those guys could be Phillip Dorsett.

Dorsett has 4.33 speed and has not lived up to the expectations when the Colts drafted him 29th overall in 2015. He has fared better in New England after the Patriots traded for him in 2017. In three years he has only missed three games. He has scored eight touchdowns in his last two seasons. His yardage has been lacking as he has averaged less than 350 per season, but this is why he should come much cheaper than most other options.

The Patriots signed Dorsett to a one year, $2.6 million dollar contract in 2019. There will likely be a market for Dorsett in free agency, but with such a deep 2020 NFL Draft class, that market might not be what Dorsett and his agent would like to see. If I am Ryan Pace I would look to sign Dorsett to a two-year, $7 million dollar contract with the guaranteed money spread out over the two years. This is nearly a $1 million raise over his salary in 2019.

They can work in some sort of agreement that allows him to earn more money if he reaches certain performance expectations, but what this does is allows Pace to essentially replace Gabriel with Dorsett for roughly $4 million less over the next two years. Not to mention, he would make a solid addition to this group and fill the hole left by Gabriel.