Report: Taylor Gabriel to Sign with Bears After 2 Seasons with Falcons

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 12: Taylor Gabriel #18 of the Atlanta Falcons runs after a catch during the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 12, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Free-agent wide receiver Taylor Gabriel agreed to a deal with the Chicago Bears, Zach Klein of WSB-TV in Atlanta reported Tuesday. 

Former NFL wideout Andrew Hawkins, who played with Gabriel on the Cleveland Browns, tweeted Gabriel confirmed the contract will run for four years.

On Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the contract will be worth $26 million and can reach $28 million with incentives. Gabriel will also receive $14 million guaranteed, per Rapoport.

Gabriel is the second receiver from whom the Bears have received a commitment this offseason. Rapoport reported Tuesday that Allen Robinson had agreed to a deal with Chicago as well.

Gabriel spent the past two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He enjoyed a strong 2016 campaign in Atlanta, catching 35 passes for 579 yards and six touchdowns, but took a step backward in 2017. The 27-year-old finished this past season with 33 receptions for 378 yards and one touchdown.

His drop in production coincided with a general decline from the Falcons offense as a whole after offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan departed to coach the San Francisco 49ers. According to Football Outsiders, the Falcons went from first in offensive efficiency in 2016 to ninth in 2017.

If the Bears can get the 2016 version of Gabriel, then he'd be a big addition to their offense out of the slot. A speedy receiver such as Gabriel should also contrast nicely with Robinson, who isn't as much of a downfield threat.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Chicago agreed to a deal with tight end Trey Burton, which would mean three new pieces to the Bears offense in 2018.

Clearly, the team has prioritized surrounding quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with more talent as he approaches his second year in the NFL. Signing Gabriel will help achieve that aim.

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