Jeffery signs with Eagles, Bears start retooling depth with Wheaton addition

Guess the Bears will be winning the Super Bowl without Alshon Jeffery this season….right?

The Chicago Bears were unable to retain Alshon Jeffery. The Bears passed on tagging him for a second straight season thus letting him test the open market.

After talking with his agent extensively, a deal was unable to be reached. Jeffery signed a one-year, $14 million dollar deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jeffery has not been the same player he was back in 2013 and 2014. He has been hampered by injury, multiple quarterbacks, and a PED suspension in 2016 caused him to miss 4 games. There was no question that the talent level was there but the lack of accountability played a part in how much the Bears evaluation of his worth.

Jeffery  totaled 4,549 yards and 26 touchdowns with the Bears in five seasons.

The Bears wide receiver depth looked very thin after Jeffery’s departure. The current WRs on the roster are Kevin White, Cameron Meredith, Eddie Royal, Rueben Randle, Josh Bellamy, Daniel Braverman, and Dres Anderson. A very weak core of guys, and only three (White,Meredith, Randle) with a real feel for the position in the NFL. Bellamy is more of a ST stud and drops too many balls when given a chance. Braverman spent most of the season on the practice squad and Anderson did the same.

But, news broke around 6 p.m. Chicago time from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that the Chicago Bears have signed former Steelers WR Markus Wheaton.

Wheaton, 26, is “absolutely very excited” about joining the Bears and Mike Glennon is one reason. The two were on the same team back at the 2013 Senior Bowl and Wheaton notes his “strong arm.”

Wheaton will be entering his 5th season in the NFL. The former third round pick by the Steelers in 2013, Wheaton missed 13 games last season, most being due to a shoulder injury that placed him on IR on November 19th.

2015 was Wheaton’s biggest year so far as a pro. He caught 44 passes for 749 yards and 5 touchdowns. On November 29th of that season vs. Seattle, Wheaton had 9 receptions for 201 yards and one touchdown. Wheaton played majority of his snaps in the slot and posses very good speed and route running.

Here is Wheaton’s TD from that career game in Seattle:

It may not be a big signing, but it is an upgrade to their current depth. Wheaton is a solid receiver and has a big arm QB in Glennon to get him the ball downfield. I expect the Bears to make another signing at WR as the depth is still not honorable. 

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