Chicago Bears Rumors: Big name wide receiver could be available
By Ryan Heckman
In the coming seasons, the Chicago Bears wide receiver corps will look much different. For this season, Allen Robinson remains in Chicago. However, next year is a different story.
When the Bears drafted Justin Fields this spring, they knew the most important part of his development would be surrounding him with talent. It’s a must for Chicago to find a top-tier wide receiver to give Fields when Robinson ultimately leaves.
That top-tier wide receiver might come in the form of New Orleans Saints Pro Bowler Michael Thomas, whose relationship with his team has become severely tense.
NBC Sports’ Mike Florio wrote recently that a Thomas trade “seems inevitable” at this point. Why? Thomas posted a cryptic tweet Monday morning which seems to be pointed at the Saints.
Should the Chicago Bears consider a trade for Michael Thomas?
It seems like a far-fetched idea for the Bears to trade for Thomas, but it does make some sense. First of all, let’s examine the cost.
For the sake of keeping it simple, the Bears could include Robinson in a trade for Thomas. Ultimately, Robinson could choose to re-sign with the Saints if he feels like they would give him top value.
Along with Robinson, the Bears would likely have to part with a future first-round pick and maybe something along the lines of a fourth or fifth-rounder. Sure, the Bears are already without a first-rounder next year after trading up for Fields, but they likely won’t get a player of Thomas’ caliber in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Could they? Sure, but Thomas is a proven commodity.
Adding a veteran like Thomas to Fields’ arsenal gives the young quarterback a true security blanket, a lot like Robinson does. The difference is, Thomas would be guaranteed to stay with the Bears for the next four seasons.
Speaking of Thomas’ contract, the Saints would take a $22 million cap hit for 2022 if they dealt him, along with a hit of over $9 million in 2021. For that reason, the Bears would definitely need to part with a minimum of a first-round pick. The only way the draft capital is lowered to say a second-rounder is if Michael Thomas is for sure going to miss significant time this season. He waited to have surgery on his ankle and his recovery is going to take him into the regular season.
Not everybody is a fan of trading away so much draft capital, but if you look at a team like the Los Angeles Rams, draft capital only matters to a certain extent. The Rams are able to get elite talent by trading their picks, and they are now a legitimate Super Bowl contender in the NFC.
Taking a page out of the Rams’ book in trading for Thomas could cement the Bears’ window for winning much longer than just this year. There is no guarantee that the Chicago Bears would get another elite receiver to pair with Darnell Mooney beyond this year, but landing Thomas does just that.
Is it an aggressive thought? Absolutely. Should Ryan Pace explore it? Without a doubt.