Kendall Wright will attempt to re-establish his value in a new locale in 2017. The former first-round Titans pick will join the Bears on a one-year deal worth up to $4MM, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). The team confirmed the move (via Twitter).
After being marginalized in what became a run-based attack in Tennessee, Wright knew he would not be back for a sixth Titans season shortly after his fifth concluded. He was a healthy scratch in Tennessee’s regular-season finale and did not surpass 500 receiving yards in either of his final two Titans slates.
But the 27-year-old Wright, who’s played much of his career in the slot, has a 1,000-plus-yard receiving season to his credit. He finished the 2013 campaign with 94 receptions, 1,079 yards and two touchdowns. He added six touchdowns in 2014, a season that featured 715 yards for Wright, but one that doubled as his last as the Titans’ clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver. After going for more than 2,300 yards in his first three seasons with Jake Locker as the primary distributor, Wright totaled just 824 in his last two Titans seasons.
Wright likely had a backer in a high-ranking place on the Bears’ coaching staff, with former Titans OC Dowell Loggains now the Chicago OC. Loggains was Tennessee’s OC from 2012-13.
With the signing, the Bears are expected to release Eddie Royal, as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes. Royal, who will turn 31 in May, has one year remaining on his contract, but the $5MM that he is due in 2017 contains no guarantees, so Chicago can clear the full $5MM from its salary cap by cutting him. Per Biggs, Royal’s contract will likely be terminated when he can pass a physical after undergoing surgery in late December to repair a turf toe issue.