5 Chicago Bears who need to step up to keep their jobs

Chicago Bears - Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bears, N'Keal Harry
Chicago Bears (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /

This Chicago Bears Player Must Step Up To Be Retained: N’Keal Harry, WR

When Ryan Poles sent a 2024 seventh-round pick to the New England Patriots for N’Keal Harry, it seemed like a no-brainer. Harry didn’t mesh well in New England and needed a new environment. A seventh-rounder two years from now isn’t anything to be concerned about — it’s essentially a throwaway pick. It’s a shame that Harry was injured early on after the trade though.

Harry was out of action until Week 7. He saw 42% of the team’s offensive snaps and caught his only target. The fact he was only targeted once was concerning, but it was his first week and slightly expected. The following week he saw 63% of the offensive snaps and caught two balls for 12 yards and a touchdown. Then, he started seeing fewer and fewer snaps. He caught one ball for six yards in Week 9 but only saw 28% of the offensive snaps. Then he was a healthy scratch in Week 10 and was out with an illness in Week 11.

Harry hasn’t done enough to warrant a return in 2023. He is in the final year of his contract and I don’t see Ryan Poles bringing him back unless it’s on a very cheap deal. Harry needs to get on the field and start proving himself should he want to return next season. That might be difficult if Justin Fields can’t play much, if at all, over these last six weeks.