Kendall Wright, Chicago Bears Agree to 1-Year Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2017

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 27:  Delanie Walker #82 of the Tennessee Titans congratulates teammate Kendall Wright #13 on scoring a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half at Nissan Stadium on October 27, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Former Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright signed with the Chicago Bears on Saturday, the team announced.

ESPN's Adam Caplan reported it is a one-year contract worth up to $4 million.

Wright, 27, has struggled with injuries and a decline in production over the past two seasons. After catching 94 passes for 1,079 and two scores in his sophomore campaign in 2013 and 57 catches for 715 yards and six touchdowns in 2014, Wright has combined to post just 65 receptions for 824 yards and six scores in the past two years, missing 11 games in the process.

A hamstring injury cost Wright the first four games of the 2016 season.

But even when he returned, he was largely phased out of the offense, a fact that wasn't lost on Wright. And once the regular season ended, he made it pretty clear he didn't intend on returning to Tennessee.

"[Sunday] I saw the 2017 Tennessee Titans and I'm not a part of the 2017 Tennessee Titans, that's probably the plan," he said on Jan. 3, per Paul Kuharsky of ESPN. "So, it is what it is. I respect everybody in the building.

He added: "I'll be glad to see what I can do and make a team fall in love with me and go and do what I know I can do. ... They have something good [in Tennessee], I think they'll win a lot of games. But for me, it's time to grind. I feel like I am free."

The Bears will be hoping that freedom he is feeling translates to success in a new offensive system. Wright's skill set translates to the slot receiver role, where he can use his quickness to get open and create mismatches over the middle of the field.

With Alshon Jeffery headed to Philadelphia, the Bears needed to find some weapons for new quarterback Mike Glennon. Wright joins former Pittsburgh Steeler Markus Wheaton among the buy-low candidates Chicago has signed this offseason for Glennon.  

While he isn't a player who will stretch teams vertically or average a high yards per catch, when utilized in the right system, he's proven to be a player capable of being a reliable and effective option in the slot. Chicago will be banking on getting the player who appeared to have a breakthrough campaign in 2013 and not the player who has either regressed since or simply was the victim of offensive systems that didn't match his abilities.


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