As the NFL free agency “tampering” period approaches, reports are beginning to surface about teams and their interests in certain players. For the Chicago Bears, a major key to this offseason is building around franchise quarterback Justin Fields. In doing so, Chicago is reportedly targeting a former Packer, wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
The connection to Valdes-Scantling makes sense. Luke Getsy, new Bears offensive coordinator, is coming to the Windy City via Green Bay himself. Getsy was in Green Bay for three of MVS’ first four seasons in the league. Now, it appears that connection might continue in Chicago.
Aside from the connection, the move is puzzling. Yes, the Bears need receiver depth badly. However, how much money is an average receiver going to cost? Valdes-Scantling has never registered more than 700 receiving yards (690 in 2020) and six touchdowns in a single season. His 2021 numbers likely would have been better had he not played only 11 games, but there are still some questions surrounding Valdes-Scantling.
The real reason the Bears want Valdes-Scantling is because of that magical word, potential. Standing 6-foot-4, weighing roughly 205 pounds, and running a 4.37 40-yard dash, the South Florida standout is an appealing physical specimen. Perhaps in a more lively role with the Bears, he can turn into something special. Aside from Darnell Mooney, the rest of the receiving corps is up in the air for the 2022 season.
Valdes-Scantling also lived in the shadows of players such as Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, and the solid Packers’ rushing attack in past seasons. Perhaps he lacked chemistry with Aaron Rodgers. However, Valdes-Scantling was often an afterthought in Green Bay.
That’s the most important question attached to this rumor. How much? How much money will Valdes-Scantling command on the open market? Will teams fall in love with his potential and pay him more than his production suggests? On the flip side, will teams pay him at a value closer to his past production?
The key for the Bears is the price point. If they can get Valdes-Scantling on a fair deal, then this move makes plenty of sense. However, when the team has so many needs and not a ton of cap space to utilize, the Bears need to play their cards right with offseason signings. Too much money committed to one player over another could leave a large hole open on the roster in 2022.
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