When the Chicago Bears drafted wide receiver Kevin White out of West Virginia with the seventh overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Bears fans rejoiced. Earlier in that off-season, the Bears had shipped away their number one wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the New York Jets, opening the door for White to be opposite of stud wide out Alshon Jeffery. Three years later, White has been given the bust label, and maybe, it is a little unfair to give him that.
What Should the Chicago Bears Do With Kevin White?
Ever since White arrived in Chicago, he was looked upon to be the home run hitter for the offense. At this moment in time, people question how long can he actually be on the field. Since 2015, White has only played five games. However, in a small sample size, not just Bears fans, but the world saw what White can do when healthy.
In a 2016 primetime game, White made a spectacular catch over then Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne. That was his only real highlight from that season as he was put on the season-ending injured reserved list. White came into the 2017 as the guy the Bears were looking towards to help out either Mike Glennon or Mitchell Trubisky as their number one receiver Cameron Meredith tore his ACL during the third preseason game. One game in, and White’s season was over with a fractured scapula.
It is very easy to feel bad for White, but the Bears have to make a decision on him this coming off-season.
One More Year?
With new head coach Matt Nagy in control, and young quarterback Trubisky under center, the goal for general manager Ryan Pace is to surround his franchise quarterback with as many pieces as possible. It is safe to say the Bears are looking towards a Los Angeles Rams-esque rebuild to reach the playoffs; that rebuild starts at the receiving corps.
Should the Bears give one more year to prove himself? Currently, White is on the last year of his four-year rookie contract, but could have his fifth year option picked up. There are a lot of options the Bears have; White can easily be buried on the depth chart, but can still make somewhat of an impact.
Bears fans are sick of hearing that Kevin White is ready to “break out”. This has been the narrative for two years now, and the results have remained the same. With that said, the Bears should not pick up White’s fifth year option. With the coaching staff they have in place, and some young pieces that could potentially push the Bears into the playoff race in 2018, they need players who are going to be there and contribute.
With the crop of wide receivers via free agents and the draft, White is without a doubt replaceable. If Jarvis Landry is not up for grabs, Paul Richardson, Albert Wilson, or even the likes of rookies Calvin Ridley (Alabama) or Courtland Sutton (SMU) can replace White. Right now, the odds are not in the favor of White, which is a shame considering his immense talent.