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NFL Chicago Bears

6 Wideouts Who Could Help Chicago Bears’ Receivers Situation

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Free Agent Receivers: 6 Wideouts the Chicago Bears Could Use

receiver
Jerry Lai - USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears, this offseason, have seemingly built a complete offense. The starting-caliber players they were missing in the 2012 season were a tight end and a few offensive line positions. GM Phil Emery made a point to address those needs on day one that NFL Free Agency opened with the signings of tight end Martellus Bennett and left tackle Jermon Bushrod.

Later signings on that side of the ball such as guard Matt Slauson and guard/tackle Eben Britton, as well as the drafting of guard Kyle Long and tackle Jordan Mills added even more security to the offensive line.

In fact, it should be a pretty good offensive line from left to right with Bushrod, Slauson, Roberto Garza, Long or Britton and J’Marcus Webb or Jonathan Scott, whoever wins those battles at right guard and tackle.

The offense now appears to have only one real “hole” that needs to be filled, and that is one more playmaker at wideout. One more guy to add depth, not only if someone gets hurt, but simply if new coach Marc Trestman wants to use a four-or-five receiver set during a game.

As the roster currently stands, the Bears have four wide receivers who have done anything in the NFL: Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett and Eric Weems (Devin Hester is not considered a receiver for them any longer). Weems proved that he is much more a special teamer than a receiver last season, and the Bears need to do better than him as the fourth option.

So, without further ado, here are six receivers the Bears should consider to bolster their receiving corps.

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Braylon Edwards Would Be A Risk

risk
Debby Wong - USA TODAY Sports

Over 5,500 yards and 40 touchdowns so far in Braylon Edwards’ eight-year career should have him gathering a lot more interest; however, it’s his recent history that disturbs potential employers. Only 380 yards and one touchdown in the past two full seasons as he’s bounced around from the San Francisco 49ers to the Seattle Seahawks to the New York Jets (for the second time in three years, by the way).

Edwards is definitely a risk and would need to prove in some workouts that he is ready to go. The issue with signing a player like Edwards is that he is going to want to start, but can he be more productive as the No. 2 than Jeffery? If the answer is no, could he deal with being a No. 3 or even No. 4 option? Probably not, but if the Bears were desperate enough, he may be a chance worth taking.

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Ramses Barden Lacks Experience, But Has Potential

potential
The Star-Ledger - USA TODAY Sports

Ramses Barden is a big target. I mean, a really big target. At 6-foot-6 and over 220-pounds, this fifth-year receiver has potential. After a few years on the New York Giants practice squad he finally got a real chance in 2012 when Hakeem Nicks’ injury issues continued. In week 3, Barden had a breakout performance of nine receptions for 138 yards. However, he followed it up with a concussion. From there, his opportunity slipped as more-proven options started to return. As a No. 3 or 4 option for the Bears, though, he certainly has value.

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Ben Obomanu is a Solid Option for Both Receiver and Special Teams

solid
Steven Bisig - USA TODAY Sports

Ben Obomanu has spent the first six years of his career as a member of the Seahawks in which he performed mostly as a special teamer, but was productive on offense in two of the last three seasons. In 2010 and 2011 he caught 67 passes for 930 yards and six touchdowns for quarterbacks such as Matt Hasselbeck, Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst.

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Chaz Schilens Needs Real Opportunity

opportunity
Jeff Curry - USA TODAY Sports

Chaz Schilens is another large target, but with more experience than Barden. In five years he has 25 starts and has totaled almost 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns. How good can he be, though? We can’t be for sure because he’s only played for the Oakland Raiders and the Jets, teams that have not been good offensively. He could be a very good pickup if the Bears were to give him a shot.

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Steve Breaston Can Be Productive Again

productive
Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

Steve Breaston has been a very productive receiver for the majority of his career. Four of his six seasons have resulted in over 45 receptions and 700-plus yards, including his best of 77 catches for 1,006 yards and three touchdowns in 2008 for the Arizona Cardinals.

Last year for the Kansas City Chiefs, he only caught seven passes for 74 yards, but he is another guy that in the right system, on an offense with enough talent, he can be successful.

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Laurent Robinson Could Even Be the No. 2 Option

robinson
Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

The first four years of Laurent Robinson’s career ranged from average to sub-par to why-are-you-on-an-NFL-roster, but in 2011 with the Dallas Cowboys, he put up explosive numbers to the tune of 54 catches for 858 yards and 11 touchdowns as the No. 3 receiver with only four starts. That earned him a pretty big contract in 2012 from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Injury and well, playing for the Jags, brought his production back down to the average arena leading Jacksonville to terminate the contract after his only year there. But for a team like the Bears, where they have a No. 1 receiver already – and more importantly a quarterback – Robinson could thrive and be very productive once again. He may even be talented enough to move into the No. 2 role.