Chicago Bears Urged to Pursue Trade for Veteran Giants WR Kenny Golladay

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The Chicago Bears have caught a lot of grief over the pass catchers, or lack thereof, that they have provided second-year quarterback, Justin Fields. So much so that they are being urged to rescue one high-priced wide receiver from a situation that just hasn’t worked out in Kenny Golladay of the New York Giants.

Third-year wideout Darnell Mooney is poised to take another step forward following the first 1000-yard campaign of his young career.

But there is little behind him in the way of proven production. Byron Pringle is projected to be the second option on the outside. But he has fewer than 900 yards in his three-year career while fellow free-agent acquisition, Equanimeous St. Brown has fewer than 600 yards. 

Proposed Trade Sees Chicago Bears Land $72M Pass-Catcher

Delivering the Goods

The suggestion that Bears general manager, Ryan Poles, target Golladay comes via Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton who bases much of his argument on the future. Chicago is slated to be one of the most cap-rich teams in the NFL after being strapped the last two offseasons. They will also have their first-round pick for the first time in two years.

Their last first-round pick was Fields adding another layer of significance to his development at the game’s most important position.

No team has more cap room over the 2023 and 2024 seasons than the Chicago Bears. This team is ripe for an upside swing on a talented but expensive player who didn’t work out elsewhere. The best marriage between fit, team need, and an expendable player is wide receiver, Kenny Golladay.”

Bears receive:

  • Kenny Golladay

Giants receive:

  • ’23 sixth-round pick

Golladay is a Chicago native and Northern Illinois University alum.

He spent the first four years of his career with the Detroit Lions who drafted him in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He posted back-to-back 1000-yard campaigns in 2018 and 2019 while still a member of the Detroit Lions before appearing in just five games in 2020.

The 6-foot-4 pass-catcher hauled in 11 touchdowns to lead the NFL in 2019.

Swap and Savings

This proposal is suggesting the Giants are paying to get off of his contract. Golladay’s effort has been questioned, as Wharton points out. He floundered his way to just 37 catches on 76 targets for 521 yards and zero touchdowns. That is highly disappointing for a receiver set to earn over $53 million across the next three seasons, per Spotrac.

That could be behind any potential interest from the Giants in trading Golladay.

“Because of the way Golladay’s contract is structured, New York will save $17.75 million in cap space if they deal him. Chicago would assume just $13 million in salary in 2022. They could cut him after the season and incur a modest $3.4 million dead-cap hit from 2023 through 2025 if he simply doesn’t work out.”

Incurring a cap hit is never the goal. But such a small one in a year when they are going to be flush with cash makes more sense than not.

“Fields is a tremendous downfield passer, but the Bears lack an explosive big body who can get downfield. A receiving room with Golladay, Darnell Mooney, Velus Jones, and Byron Pringle would stand a chance of helping Fields make a leap this season.”

Bears Should Consider Golladay Trade

Poles has maintained that the Bears are “all in” on Fields. But the resources invested in two critical areas – offensive line and wide receiver – do not tell the same story. Both units project to be among the worst in the NFL next season. Pro Football Focus ranked the Bears’ offensive line 31st and their receiving corps dead-last.

There is always the chance that some of the new faces could be surprises while old ones bounce back. That is a risky way to go about things in the NFL where situations are precarious enough already.