Chicago Bears: 6 players whose expectations are still uncertain

Chicago Bears (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
4 of 7
Chicago Bears, Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

4. Jimmy Graham – Will he prove the Chicago Bears were right to sign him?

The signing of Jimmy Graham was one of the more surprising moves of the Bears’ offseason. His contract this offseason with the Bears — which included an estimated $9 million of guaranteed money — was widely panned by the NFL media world.

Chicago used their first pick of the draft on Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet but the position is notoriously tough to learn for NFL rookies. The Chicago Bears could use two-tight end sets with both Graham and Kmet, but Graham will shoulder the load as the go-to-guy this year.

Graham had four monster seasons in New Orleans but has failed to reach those heights in the years since he left ‘the Big Easy’. Fans had high hopes for him when he went to Seattle, and later Green Bay, but he never became the offensive weapon that he had been in New Orleans. Graham has only topped 60 catches once since 2014.

He will not become that same offensive weapon in Chicago either, but Graham will need to provide more than he did in Green Bay to live up to his contract.

Would the Bears be satisfied with slightly-below average tight end play out of Graham this season? After last year’s disastrous output from the position — with Trey Burton leading all Bears tight ends with 14 receptions — that might be enough for Coach Nagy to work with.