WEDNESDAY, 11:35pm: It’s a three-year deal, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
Royal caught 62 balls for 778 receiving yards with the Chargers last season and both marks were his best since his rookie season with the Broncos in 2008. The 28-year-old (29 in May), put himself on the map with his tremendous rookie performance in 2008 and became a focal point of the Bolts’ offense over the last two seasons. While the stats have come and gone for Royal since 2013 (no wide receiver really sees consistent targets in Philip Rivers‘ offense), he has proven himself to be a reliable option.
Royal, who caught balls from Cutler in Denver earlier in his career, isn’t exactly an ideal candidate to replace Brandon Marshall, who was traded to the Jets earlier this week. However, the Bears are rebuilding a wide receiving corps that doesn’t feature a ton of talent behind Alshon Jeffery, so signing a slot receiver like Royal is a solid add for Chicago.