What we've seen so far is that if a team has an elite quarterback and multiple top receiving options, the team has a serious shot at a Super Bowl title (the lone exception being the Dallas Cowboys).
What we haven't yet considered is what happens to teams with just one top receiving option.
Such teams are mere playoff contenders but never Super Bowl contenders.
Like the Detroit Lions with Calvin Johnson.
The San Diego Chargers with Vincent Jackson.
The Houston Texans with Andre Johnson.
The Atlanta Falcons with Roddy White.
The Arizona Cardinals with Larry Fitzgerald.
The Kansas City Chiefs with Dwayne Bowe.
And so on.
If the Bears want to win the Super Bowl, the team cannot settle for just one big-name free agent wide receiver. Getting one big-ticket wide receiver just makes the Bears like all of the aforementioned teams in the league. It doesn't distinguish them from the other competing teams.
To be instant Super Bowl contenders and truly rise above all the other teams in the league, the Bears must get two major free-agent wide receivers.
Repeat: Must. Get. Two.
Emery may be tempted to think one wide receiver in free agency and one wide receiver in the draft, but that would not help the team win now.
Highly-rated rookie wide receivers, though recently demonstrating they are not exactly helpless in their first year, will still be learning and adjusting to the speed and physicality of the pro game in their first season.
In other words: inconsistent.
Drafting a rookie wide receiver this April with the goal of seeing them make significant contributions for 2013 would be reasonable, but not for 2012.
Fortunately for the Bears, there is a glut of free-agent wide receivers in a wide range of tiers (to borrow a fantasy football strategy). And the tiers will be the key to the team's free agency plans at the position.
It's not likely Emery can sign two "Tier 1" free-agent wide receivers.
But it's very likely Emery can sign a "Tier 1" free-agent wideout and a "Tier 2" free-agent receiver.
Say, Dwayne Bowe and Mario Manningham.
Or Vincent Jackson and Marques Colston.
Or Laurent Robinson and Robert Meacham.
The options are very intriguing. But more importantly, possible.
The tricky part is competing with other teams for wideouts. A few other teams also need a wide receiver and have a lot of cap room as well.
Jacksonville will be a force in the market for wide receivers. The Bears' best negotiating tactic against the Jaguars is to compare quarterbacks.
"Dwayne, would you rather have Jay Cutler throwing you the ball or Blaine Gabbert?"
Tampa Bay may also be in the market since Mike Williams fizzled in 2011. The Bears can use the same Jacksonville argument to any receiver considering Tampa Bay.
"The Bucs don't even know if Josh Freeman is the answer at quarterback, son."
Cincinnati has at least $40 million to spend and are rumored to be looking for a receiver to complement A.J. Green.
However, it's uncertain if Cincinnati will be willing to pay for a "Tier 1" receiver or merely a "Tier 2" or "Tier 3" in order to avoid bruising Green's ego. So the Bears and the Bengals may not even be competing for the same receivers.
The Bengals also have a lot of needs on defense so they may be pegging most of their cap money on that side of the ball.
And the clincher for the Bears vs. Cincinnati if they do compete for the same receivers could be this:
"You'll get more media exposure and endorsement opportunities playing in a major market like Chicago than you will in Cincinnati."
Dallas has plenty of room under the cap to re-sign Laurent Robinson, who has great chemistry with Tony Romo. But the Cowboys also have a lot of defensive needs to spend on. Perhaps the Bears could entice Robinson not only with more money, but the allure of being the No. 1 wide receiver on the Bears, rather than being just one option of many on the Cowboys.
The Rams also need a wide receiver and have cash to burn. But since they also have the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, they may be just content to draft WR Justin Blackmon and focus their free-agent sights on defense.
Even if the Rams are deadset on signing an elite free-agent receiver, the Bears could compete for those receivers by pointing out they are closer to a Super Bowl than the Rams and try to appeal to the free agents' competitiveness and desire to win a ring.
So while the Bears will be competing with other money-spending teams for the same pool of receivers, the Bears still have a realistic shot at persuading them to come to Chicago.
And if we can add a free-agent pass rusher, that'd be gravy.
Free agency starts March 13. Can't wait.
But wait—we're not done yet.