The New Orleans Saints have decided to make a run at Chicago Bears’ wide receiver Cameron Meredith in an effort to boost their pass-catching depth. Will the Bears decide to match the Saints’ offer to Meredith? The answer to that question has several ramifications.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the New Orleans Saints have signed Cameron Meredith to an offer sheet, worth two years and $10 million. The Bears will have until Wednesday to match the Saints’ proposal.
One sign which may suggest the direction that the Chicago Bears will conclude to keep Cameron Meredith is their lack of proven receivers. Despite the offseason signings of Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel, the Bears are void of a prototypical No. 2 receiver. Cameron Meredith went from being undrafted as a rookie in 2015, to a reliable target leading up to the 2017 season.
The previous Bears’ coaching staff spent a lot of time developing Cameron Meredith, who was considered a possible replacement for Alshon Jeffery. Cameron Meredith suffered a torn ACL during the Bears’ third preseason game last summer, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
Prior to the injury, Cameron Meredith was coming off a season where he led the Chicago Bears in catches and passing yards. The Bears may agree to match the offer made by the New Orleans Saints based on the investment alone.
Failure to match the Saints’ offer could force the Bears to draft a wide receiver earlier than they would anticipate.
The Chicago Bears currently have greater needs than at wide receiver, however, if they do not match the New Orleans Saints’ offer, the hole at the position becomes greater. The onus to contribute would fall on the shoulders of fourth-year wide receiver Kevin White.
Kevin White has yet to prove that he can stay healthy in order to be relied upon. The Bears would like to hope that White can give them a full season, but given his injury history, they can ill-afford to expect much outside of basic contributions. The Bears may be pressured into matching the Saints’ offer handed to Cameron Meredith.
The New Orleans Saints likely view Meredith as a possession receiver. He would be a luxury on a team which is in the process of transitioning their offensive scheme. Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees will still look to air out the football, but going bigger at receiver would allow the Saints to play physical. If the Chicago Bears do match the offer sheet, it is safe to say that a physical receiver will rise up the Saints’ draft board.