Bears sign former Giants receiver Collin Johnson
Vincent Carchietta - USA Today Sports

Bears sign former Giants receiver Collin Johnson

by - Senior Writer -

Now that the Bears have finally won a game to end their franchise-worst losing streak, there is a sense of fresh air at Halas Hall. That large dark cloud was hanging over this team for far too long, and at the very least, it is nice to see the cloud starting to move away for at least two weeks.

While there hasn't been a lot of good news to report out of camp these days, mainly due to the injuries to Khalil Herbert, Roschon Johnson, and Travis Homer, you did have the Bears announce that two players on the defensive side of the ball will be returning which does help. With so many bodies going down the past few weeks, the Bears have continued to add depth to their roster, which continued this week as they added WR Collin Johnson to the practice squad.

With the practice squad having an opening, the 26-year-old Johnson was added to fill that opening after spending time with the Jaguars and Giants. Typically, practice squad players are only brought in to be healthy bodies to help teams out, but adding Johnson could have an even bigger upside than that, which adds more intrigue to this pickup.

The former Texas Longhorn standout isn't your typical receiver, and you can look at his size as the reason why. Johnson is a massive 6-6, 222-pound WR that resembles a TE more than a WR. Although limited in NFL experience, Johnson has 29 catches for 372 yards and 2 TDs thus far. Not to look too much into this, Johnson was added after Chase Claypool was traded and will provide the Bears with the big-body WR option that this team lost when they traded away Claypool.

Johnson is not Claypool, especially in terms of talent, but Claypool was a cancer in the locker room, and it was evident that the Bears needed to move on from him. Now that they have, the locker room is in a better place, and now you have Johnson joining it with a chance to prove what he can do as a player.

One of the main reasons the Bears traded for Claypool was his speed/size combo, and the team hoped he could use that to his advantage. Not only did that never happen, but Claypool seemed lost when on the field, and it only went downhill from there. That is another reason why this Johnson pickup is interesting.

Chicago is looking at him like a project similar to Claypool and hopes he can learn this offense quickly to potentially be added to the roster. Should that happen, Johnson will need to use his size to his advantage, which other WRs on this team have failed to do. It's doubtful that he will earn an opportunity, but considering where the team is, they are willing to make some flyer decisions at this point, hoping to find someone good enough to earn a roster spot.

Initially a fifth-round pick by the Jaguars in the 2020 NFL Draft, Johnson was a productive outside receiver with great size and ball skills, but below-average speed. He may need to find an offense that allows him to work downfield, where size overrides quickness once the ball is in the air. Sound familiar? That is the type of offense that Luke Getsy has been trying to build, so this may be the perfect fit and opportunity for him.

Don't expect to see too much from him this season, but credit Ryan Poles for continuing to look for players he feels will make a difference. The fact that he thinks Johnson will make a difference is telling, and that alone is worth letting him join this team to see what he can do.

Comment on this story
Send Feedback to Dustin Riese: Email | Comment
Post your comments!