Yesterday, an unexpected move was made by the front office of the Chicago Bears. Wide receiver Earl Bennett was given his outright release after declining to take a pay cut for the 2014 NFL year. Bennett, who was drafted by the Bears in 2008, was expected to compete for the No. 3 receiving spot against second-year wide receiver Marquess Wilson for the upcoming season. Now, it appears that the job is open Wilson’s taking.
Chicago’s coaching staff is high on the potential of Wilson, and feels that he can make the Bears’ offense even more potent. Hopefully, his skills will improve after spending the offseason in Florida training with Pro Bowl wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. In addition, Wilson could possibly add some weight to his 6-foot-3, 194 pound frame, making him more durable for a full NFL schedule. Wilson only had two receptions for 13 yards in 2013.
Although the coast seems clear for Wilson to claim that third spot, newly acquired wide receiver Domenik Hixon may bring some competition to this summer’s training camp. Along with playing offense, Hixon will also vie for the spot as kick returner, which was left vacant by Devin Hester.
Hixon clearly has more experience at receiver than Wilson does. Hixon spent five of his first seven NFL seasons with the New York Giants, and offered some minor contributions to their two Super Bowl championship seasons in 2007 and 2011. However, Hixon might have a better chance of making the 53-man roster as a special teams player, and still could be the No. 4 receiver on the depth chart.
With that being said, it appears that Wilson could be set to be one of the breakout players for the Bears in 2014, and could make a name for himself throughout the league.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.