Chicago Bears immediately linked to star wide receiver upon release

Chicago Bears, Mike Williams
Chicago Bears, Mike Williams / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Long before Wednesday's 4 PM start to the new league year, NFL teams were busy trying to improve their teams via trades and free agency, including the Chicago Bears. Ryan Poles and company were swift, no pun intended, in landing three free agents in Kevin Byard, D'Andre Swift, and Gerald Everett, all of whom are slated to make an immediate impact on their respective sides of the ball.

Still, the Bears have a lot of available cap space to work with, and while they remain one of the top five teams in terms of available money, the front office has seemed hesitant to go out and spend top-tier money for players such as Christian Wilkins, Danielle Hunter, and Saquon Barkley. However, the Bears might not be avoiding large contracts in general, but are rather waiting to see how all the cards get shuffled.

Free agency can bring a lot of surprises. Take for example the running back market, which was always expected to hold a number of stars. Still, players such as Joe Mixon and Aaron Jones became available via other signings, so there is a lot of talent in the secondary wave of free agency.

The Bears' patience may be paying off, as it was announced just hours before the official start of free agency that the Las Angeles Chargers would release star receiver Mike Williams. Unlike some teams who kicked off the week with big guaranteed contracts, the Bears have the opportunity to set the market for Williams, and any similar player that is released over the following days.

In terms of being a fit for the Bears, Williams is an interesting option to expand the talent of the receiver room. A seven-year pro, the 6'4" receiver has dominated with the Chargers, posting 31 touchdowns since 2018 and an impressive 60 receiving yards per game over that same span. Unfortunately, he appeared in only three games last season before sustaining an ACL injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the year.

When healthy, Williams is one of the league's most physical boundary receivers, and he would be a great target for whoever ends up as the Chicago Bears' quarterback next season. It is hard to foresee what kind of contract Williams will now garner, but again, thanks to the patience of the front office, the Bears are in a position to add a top receiver who was not originally slated to hit free agency.

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