Bears were more worried about some knees than others

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For another $1 million dollars, the Bears could have made sure Cameron Meredith was theirs this season.

But apparently the concerns over his reconstructed knee forced them into a cautious valuation, and so they lost him without compensation yesterday when they didn’t match the Saints offer sheet for the wide receiver. They tendered the former undrafted rookie at the lowest level of $1.9 million, when tendering him at $2.9 million would have gotten them a second-round pick if someone would have signed him away (or more accurately, scared off any suitors for a year).

According to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, the primary factor in their decision to not tag the restricted free agent at a more restrictive level was the fact they were worried about Meredith’s recovery from a torn ACL and partially torn MCL in a preseason game. Campbell reported that “heavy doubt about Meredith’s knee has existed since his surgery,” and that by late October, the team was uncertain about his future.

It must have been a considerable concern, since they still need all the offensive weapons that they can get and they’re still sitting on $24 million in cap room, meaning they could have easily absorbed the two-year, $9.6 million offer the Saints lured him away with.

Making it that much more strange is they guaranteed a lot more money to another wide receiver coming off an ACL tear.

The Bears gave Allen Robinson a three-year, $42 million contract, with $25.2 million guaranteed. He tore his ACL in the regular season opener for the Jaguars, weeks after Meredith’s injury.

Granted, Robinson has better back-of-the-football-card stats than Meredith, but not by a margin larger than the difference in their paychecks. Robinson had a 1,400-yard season in 2015, but in 2016, his 73-catch, 883-yard, six-touchdown stat line isn’t much different from Meredith’s 66-888-4.

Considering the Bears monitored Meredith’s rehab all last season, they’re in the best position to know what’s happening in that knee. But given General Manager Ryan Pace’s track record of finding qualified receivers vs. the Saints’, it’s worth wondering whether they were penny wise and pound foolish on this deal.

21 responses to “Bears were more worried about some knees than others

  1. I have no faith in the Bears anymore. I’ve been disappointed by them for so long that they now need to earn my excitement. I’ll watch, but I’m bitching and complaining until they show me something to be excited about.

  2. That was one of the most nasty knee injuries, if not the most that I have seen live. Looked career ending to me.
    ========================================
    After further evaluation team doctors said the knee injury wasn’t quite as bad as initially thought (leg bent in awkward way)and he should make a complete recovery.

  3. Vikings > Saints It’s not even close.
    =====================================
    Hahaha… the Vikings needed some miracle, fluky play to beat the Saints in the playoffs. Not happening again.

    Saints = Superbowl 44 champs
    Vikings = Goose eggs forever

  4. That was clearly the worst knee injury of the season. Dude’s knee will never be the same. Goofy Saints fans justifying the signing because their team doctor cleared him, sure pal.

    The Saints are done, their success is based upon a 40 year old QB that managed one SB in his career. The end of the Saints success was five years ago and everyone knows it.

  5. pikes&vikes says:
    April 12, 2018 at 8:33 am
    That was clearly the worst knee injury of the season.

    ————————————————-

    Did we already forget about Zach Miller almost loosing his leg over his knee injury????

  6. That was clearly the worst knee injury of the season. Dude’s knee will never be the same. Goofy Saints fans justifying the signing because their team doctor cleared him, sure pal.
    ==================================================
    How come 3 other teams tried to sign Meredith to offer sheets then? Obviously their doctors thought he can make a complete recovery or they wouldn’t have done so. Meredith picked the Saints over the Ravens and the Colts. He rather catch passes from a first ballot HOFer in Brees.

  7. The Saints are done, their success is based upon a 40 year old QB that managed one SB in his career.
    ============================================
    Saints actually have a defense now… Try to keep up, its not 5 years ago anymore.

  8. I think its crazy to pay Meredith almost $10 million over two years because he was the default #1 WR two years ago. Their defense was bad and they were trailing in a lot of games. Hoyer found confidence in him while trying to catch up in games. They had no other WRs. Royal, White, etc all were hurt and useless. Meredith was the #1 WR by DEFAULT. But I am glad he got that chance. Don’t get me wrong, I like him. Finding value with an UFA is always great. BUT, Meredith tore 2 major ligaments in his knee. Fully recovered or not, I would not be willing to spend $9.6 million, even though I had the cap space, on that kind of investment. If Meredith was a 1st rounder, yes, I would. But there was a reason he was not drafted 3-4 years ago. Again, Im glad he panned out during his time in Chicago. But I think that money will be best spent elsewhere in the future. They will draft a WR that will be under team control for 4 years for way less money and will produce, when/if called upon, like Meredith did. I truly wish Meredith luck in New Orleans. Good for him. Pace made a good situation. Also, you can’t compare Allen Robinson to Meredith. Robinson was a true #1 WR. He was drafted to be one. He had a non contact injury, a clean cut of a ligament, just Jordy Nelson and many before him. That is easier to recover from. Like others have written above, Merediths injury was gruesome. I wouldn’t give a WR a raise of $4.3 million after having that injury the previous year. Smart money would be to pass. But I wish Meredith all the success he attains ….. GO BEARS.

    By the way, the Bears did not offer a higher round tender on Meredith because they did not think a team would make an offer to a WR who blew their knee out the previous year. But the Saints are taking that risk.

  9. sb44champs says:
    April 12, 2018 at 9:45 am
    The Saints are done, their success is based upon a 40 year old QB that managed one SB in his career.

    ============================================

    Saints actually have a defense now… Try to keep up, its not 5 years ago anymore.

    __________________________

    NO ONE is cared of the Saints, nor the Bears and definitely not the Lions!

    Drew Brees is too old, the Saints will flop and signing Meredith was a HUGE risk, stop trying to justify your team’s stupid mistake!

  10. Drew Brees is too old, the Saints will flop and signing Meredith was a HUGE risk, stop trying to justify your team’s stupid mistake!
    ===============================================
    Hahaha… sounds like someone is a little vindictive and bitter!

  11. pikes&vikes says:
    April 12, 2018 at 8:33 am

    The Saints are done, their success is based upon a 40 year old QB that managed one SB in his career. The end of the Saints success was five years ago and everyone knows it.
    —————————————————————————-
    Based on this logic, the Vikings are done, their success is based on a… What?… What just happened?

  12. I mostly agree with Seeno K says: April 12, 2018 at 9:53 am.
    by Donerio Williams says: April 12, 2018 at 11:08 am Their bringing back Kevin White at over $5mil a year and he’s shown nothing. saying they are bring back Kevin White is kind of dumb, he is a first round pick and is under contract. There really is no choice, plus his potentially upside is greater. Take a look at his college tape verses Cam’s. Sorry to see cam go, I think Seeno K pretty much hit it on the head.

  13. Wow so many people ripping on the Beats. Did we just give away OBJ? You’d thought Meredith was the Bears first round Pro Bowler let go. The only reason Meredith had the stats he did was because the Bears were always behind. He’s not a #1 WR on any team but the Bears. We can draft a WR in the second day that is cheaper and just as productive. So stop whining!

  14. You people do realize that the Saints signed Meredith to be a #2 or #3 receiver right?

    P.S. these bitter Vikings fans are pathetic. Get over it, you lost to the best statistical QB of all time like 8 years ago

  15. Two bum kneed WRs in Meredith and White. White is Paces problem with his first 1st round pick at #7, 8 this year. White needs to break out and replace Jeffrey production. Bears obviously have faith in the weapons they already have.. Pace always seems to hit the nail on OL and RBs. Hopefully Pace hits a gem with 4th round possible WR. Some late boom or busts there. A trade back late 1st round might land Calvin Ridley or Cortland Sutton. We all know Paces likes risk if he is set on a player.

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