Receiver Situation

The Bears matched the Minnesota Vikings offer to wide receiver D'Wayne Bates retaining his services for the next three seasons.

With Bates returning the Bears boost arguably the best wide receiver crop in the National Football League. One very large question still looms. Will the Bears keep star wide out Marcus Robinson or cut him June 1st? The Bears have already invested a large amount of money into David Terrell, who showed promise his rookie season in Chicago. Marty Booker will likely sign a one year contract this season and demand a long term deal after the 2002-2003 season.

Bates could fit into the 3rd wide receiver role, if he continues to progress as he did at the end of the 2001 campaign. Ahmad Merritt is the only true 'burner' of the group and his speed was sorely missed for much of the regular season. Merritt showed promise scoring the only offensive touchdown on a 47-yard reverse in the Divisional playoff loss against Philly. He could be the Bears 4th wide receiver behind Terrell, Booker and Bates.

The wildcard in the situation is 3rd year wide receiver Dez White. He has good speed but has lacked consistency in his first two seasons. He has showed he posses the talent necessary to exceed but must put it all together next season.

At this point it looks like Robinson could be cut come June 1, but if he's willing to renegotiate his current contract he may be able to stay in Chicago.

During an interview with WSCR Robinson said he was ahead of schedule, but has yet to start running.

"We (Trainers and Robinson) are taking everything kind of slow right now, but I've been running in the pool and jogging on the trampoline but that's about it," Robinson said.

Robinson said he would probably start running by the end of April and his goal is to be ready for the season opener, which is September 8 against Minnesota. He admitted he isn't sure what the Bears plans are concerning him, but he wants to remain in Chicago.

"I played here for five years and I've had a great time, so me and family love it here and we're going to try to do everything we cam just to be a Bear," Robinson said.

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