Anthony Miller came up in trade rumors at the start of free agency and popped up again as a movable piece closer to the draft. The Bears ended up holding onto their contract-year slot receiver, but this certainly does not mean Miller will be in Chicago this season.
Miller’s trade-block status was not about obtaining value for a player the Bears do not plan to re-sign, with Adam Jahns of The Athletic noting the former second-round pick is on Chicago’s roster bubble going into training camp (subscription required).
This comes after a minor injury prevented Miller from participating in Chicago’s minicamp earlier this month. Quality minicamp showings elevated veteran signings Marquise Goodwin and Damiere Byrd past Miller in the Bears’ receiver pecking order, Jahns adds, with third- and fourth-year wideouts Riley Ridley and Javon Wims joining Miller on the bubble.
Darnell Mooney usurped Miller as the Bears’ No. 2 wide receiver last season, playing 73% of the team’s offensive snaps (to Miller’s 55%) and outgaining him 631-485 through the air. Neither surpassed 10.5 yards per catch, however, for a still-Allen Robinson-dependent passing attack. Miller has flashed in the past, catching seven touchdown passes while playing through injury as a rookie and posting 656 receiving yards with Mitchell Trubisky at the helm in 2019. The Bears will still need to see more come camp.
Rookie sixth-rounder Dazz Newsome is sidelined with a broken collarbone, and although Goodwin will be on time to camp after failing to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team in the long jump, the speedster has not caught a pass in a game since November 2019. Ridley and Wims’ roster statuses appear more tenuous than Miller’s as well, with Jahns adding the Bears would likely be more willing to carry Miller onto the roster after cutdown day compared to the other two. Miller is set to earn $1.21MM in base salary this season.
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