Is there a Receiver Worth Pursuing?

At some point the Bears will begin to utilize their $22 million in cap space to add free agents. The team already showed interest in improving their receiving corps, but failed to land top target Antwaan Randle El. However, the Bears could have another veteran wideout in mind.

The Bears have talent at receiver, but are lacking experience aside from Muhsin Muhammad, who struggled to produce in his first season with the Bears.

After Muhammad the next four receivers on the roster have combined for 24 career starts. Justin Gage accounts for the bulk of those with 16, while Mark Bradley has 4 and Bernard Berrian three. Airese Currie didn't suit up for a game as a rookie, but will be healthy when the team opens mini-camp in June.

Even though Gage finished second on the team in receptions to Muhammad, Bradley and Berrian appear to have the inside track to compete for the starting job.

The Bears wanted to add Randle El, but the Redskins made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Most of the top free agent receivers have already inked deals with other clubs.

There is a chance another veteran could hit the open market. Eric Moulds believes the Bills have no intention of keeping him at his current salary and has asked to be released. Moulds has two years left on his contract and is scheduled to make $7.1 million next season, but will count $10.85 million against the salary cap.

The problem with going after Moulds is it would be a similar move to adding Muhammad last year. Like Muhammad, Moulds will be 33 before the start of the season. He's still a capable receiver, but on the downside of his career.

Obviously the Bears have proven even with ample cap space they won't overpay for players. Moulds should come much cheaper than what Muhammad signed for (six-years $30 million) last off-season. Brining Moulds would be more of a stopgap measure. The ten-year veteran has 675 career catches and 48 touchdowns.

Moulds was the team's leading receiver last year with 81 catches for 816 yards and four scores. The numbers are similar to what Muhammad put up, when he paced the Bears with 64 receptions for 750 yards and four touchdowns.

Moulds has caught at least 60 balls the past eight years, but his average per catch has been on the declined in every one of those seasons.

The Bears are looking to add speed opposite Muhammad and Moulds doesn't fit the bill. At six-foot-2, 210-pounds he was never a burner, but the drop in average yards per catch could be a sign he's lost a step.

The longer the Bills decide on what to do with the three-time time Pro Bowl wideout it could work in the Bears favor. With teams actively shopping for free agents cap space is going to start to dwindle, which will leave Moulds with less suitors if he becomes a free agent.

If Moulds is willing to sign a short deal it could be worth the risk. If he wants on a long-term deal with guaranteed money upfront, the Bears would be better off going in a different direction.

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