Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears 2017 Free Agent Options: Wide Receiver

With uncertainty surrounding the Chicago Bears receiving corps, we analyze in detail the top free agent wide receivers that will soon hit the open market.

The Chicago Bears have numerous positional groups that carry significant question marks, although few are as uncertain as the wide receiver position.

Alshon Jeffery hasn't had a good season since 2014, was suspended four games last year and is once again slated to become a free agent this upcoming off-season.

Kevin White has played just four games his first two NFL seasons and is coming off his second leg surgery.

Eddie Royal has struggled to stay healthy and will likely be a cap casualty, while Marquess Wilson may also bolt in free agency.

Cameron Meredith is a good looking young pass catcher who nearly eclipsed 1,000 yards during his sophomore season but he's far from a guarantee.

Every single receiver on the current roster is a mid- to high-level risk heading into 2017, so expect GM Ryan Pace to add stability at the position through free agency.

With that in mind, here are the top receivers who are slated to hit the open market this off-season.

Kenny Britt, Rams (Age: 28)

Britt is a former first-round pick who failed to meet expectations during five seasons in Tennessee. Yet Britt has been very good for the Rams the past three seasons. In 2016, he caught 68 passes for 1,002 yards and 5 TDs. The 6-3, 223-pounder is a quality deep threat with eight years of NFL experience, yet he'll only be 28 at the start of the 2017 regular season. Britt is a ready-to-go starter who can produce No. 2 numbers for the Bears, and possibly more.

Terrelle Pryor, Browns (28)

A former NFL quarterback who was unemployed in 2014, Pryor has resurrected his career as a receiver. As the No. 1 pass catcher in Cleveland last year, he caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards and 4 TDs. In a horrible offense that featured three different starting quarterbacks, Pryor shined. With a year's experience as a receiver under his belt, Pryor could take a substantial step forward next season and beyond.

Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings (26)

A former first-round draft pick, Patterson has been a bona fide bust as a receiver in Minnesota. Just two seasons ago he played in all 16 games and caught 2 total passes. Yet Patterson showed significant development last season and is coming off a career-high 52 receptions. In addition, he's one of the best kick returners in the NFL, an area in which the Bears could use a boost. At only 26, Patterson is well worth a low-risk investment.

Pierre Garcon, Redskins (31)

Garcon is one of the more underrated receivers in the NFL, one who caught 113 passes for 1,346 receiving yards in 2013. Last year, he had 69 catches for 1,041 yards. He's an outstanding route runner with sure hands and a thick frame (6-0, 211), which allows him to absorb contact on contested throws. He turns 31 in August but Garcon still has at least two more good years left in him.

Michael Floyd, Patriots (27)

Floyd was the 13th overall pick in the 2012 draft and has three seasons of 800 or more receiving yards in the NFL, including three years with five or more touchdown catches. He has elite size (6-2, 220) and downfield ability, as evidenced by his 15.4-yard career receiving average. Yet Floyd has never fully reached his potential due in large part to a lack of motivation. He's also set to be suspended for at least two games next year after pleading guilty to "extreme DUI" from a December arrest. He's super talented but not worth the headache.

DeSean Jackson, Redskins (30)

Jackson has 1,000-yard campaigns in three of his last four seasons, including 1,005 receiving yards in 2016. He's 30 but he still maintains his game-changing speed, something lacking in Chicago's passing attack. Jackson isn't a Boy Scout off the field but he could add a much-needed element to the Bears offense.

Robert Woods, Bills (25)

A former second-round pick, Woods produced third-tier numbers for the Bills the past four seasons, topping out at 65 catches for 699 yards and 5 TDs in 2014. While Woods struggled to find consistency in Buffalo's run-first offense, the 25-year-old is a solid veteran who has had a number of very strong performances during his career. He's not going to carry the offense but his experience playing out wide and in the slot could solidify Chicago's three-receiver sets. 

Josh Gordon, Browns (27)

There's no doubting Gordon's potential -- he had 1,646 receiving yards and 9 TDs in 2013 -- but there's also no denying his ongoing issues with drugs and alcohol. After being reinstated by the NFL last year, Gordon checked himself back into rehab a week before he was slated to return to action. He has all the talent in the world but his baggage makes him an extreme risk. 

Kendall Wright, Titans (27)

In 2013, Wright caught 94 passes for 1,049 yards, yet he hasn't come close to achieving those numbers since. Steady rumors about his lock of motivation and work ethic are concerning but Wright is still one of the quickest, fastest slot receivers in the game. If he can get his head on straight, the Bears could land the steal of free agency. 

Kenny Stills, Dolphins (25)

Stills is one of the most dangerous deep threats in the NFL, something the Bears have lacked for seasons. He a bit of a one-trick pony and has sketchy hands but on a cheap contract, playing in a situational role, Stills makes some sense for the Bears. 

Honorable Mention

Kamar Aiken, Ravens (28)
Anquan Boldin, Lions (36)
Terrance Williams, Cowboys (27)
Ted Ginn, Panthers (32)
Brandon LaFell, Bengals (30)
Victor Cruz, Giants (30)

The Pick: Kendall Wright or Cordarelle Patterson

If the Bears re-sign Jeffery and Kevin White can somehow stay healthy, then a legitimate slot receiver will be all that's needed, assuming the team waives Eddie Royal. 

Wright is extremely talented and has game-changing speed. He would make an outstanding slot complement to Jeffery and White out wide. Wright clearly needs to be motivated but he's only 27, so he's just entering his prime, and his 29 catches last year means he'll come very cheap. 

If Wright isn't a fit, then Patterson makes a lot of sense, if only for his ability as a returner, a role in which he's one of the game's best. Patterson would boost field position for the offense and, as a receiver, can take the top off opposing defenses. He's only 26 and won't cost too much, so what's not to like? 


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