The Chicago Bears will have plenty of debate around some of the upcoming free agents on their current roster, especially the depth free agents. One interesting debate will be Trent Taylor. Should the Bears re-sign Taylor in free agency?
Should Chicago Bears re-sign Trent Taylor in free agency this offseason?
The Bears added Taylor when the Cincinnati Bengals cut him prior to the 2023 season. Taylor signed with the team because he was clearly their top punt return option. Rookie Tyler Scott did not win the job, and Velus Jones lost it. Dante Pettis was hurt, so they had to roll with Taylor.
The issue is that Taylor had the worst year of his career across the board. Trent Taylor did not catch a pass for the Bears. They did not sign him to make big plays, but he has hit at least 41 yards every year. Still, he had been trending down. In the last four years, Taylor has 189 yards, compared to 645 yards in his first two seasons.
So, while the production can be forgiven, the real issue was his punt returns. The entire reason the Bears signed him was to catch punts. He not only had his worst yard per return rate, but he muffed two punts, including a costly punt against the Cleveland Browns that set them up in the red zone.
So, on the surface, the Bears need a punt return option, and he brings that. He is cheap and could easily re-sign with the team. However, below that is the worst year he had, and it was clearly not a good fit for either side. The Chicago Bears will have to sign someone of Taylor's caliber to a similar deal, but it should not be Taylor. He did not do anything to deserve to come back next year.