Should Bears target WR Keenan Allen?
Isaiah Downing - USA Today Sports

Should Bears target WR Keenan Allen?

by - Senior Writer -

When looking for a No. 1 WR, a few things must be considered. They need to have speed, size, and of course, playmaking ability. The Bears thought they had that guy in Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney the past few seasons, but Mooney is better off as a No. 2 while Robinson is no longer with the Bears.

In fact, it hasn't been since the Jay Cutler days when he was throwing to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery when the Bears last had a legitimate option at the No. 1 position. With roughly 120 million dollars to spend and a bevy of needs, the Bears need for a No .1 WR is clear, but could be solved with one sweep signing.

Now that the Superbowl has officially ended, teams can start to focus on their offseason and how to build for the future. This is also the time of year when surprising roster decisions are made, and this year is no different as several teams will be forced to make tough decisions based on their overall cap space.

One of those teams is the Los Angeles Chargers, who are close to exceeding the cap and have dangled an intriguing name out there as a possible roster casualty. That name would be WR Keenan Allen, whose days with the Chargers could be numbered. Allen is the pure definition of a No. 1 WR, as he checks a lot of the boxes the Bears are looking for.

Not only does he have size with a 6-4 frame, but when the ball is in his direction, you can bet he will do his best to make a play on it. Coming off an injury-riddled season, the 30-year-old Allen may not be the same player he once was, but he is still a better option than who the Bears would have at WR this season.

Although he was limited to just 10 games this season, Allen still hauled in 66 catches for 752 yards while finding the endzone four times. Those numbers would have led the Bears in most categories, so the overall production you want from a No. 1 WR is there. Take this season out of the equation for a bit, and Allen has been about as consistent as anyone in this league for the better part of seven seasons and has helped the Chargers passing attack rank near the top of the league for several seasons.

Allen came into the year having made five consecutive Pro Bowls, putting up four seasons with at least 1,100 receiving yards and scoring 32 touchdowns over 78 games in that span. No one else on Chicago's roster comes close to that type of production, so adding him would be a dream come true for Justin Fields and the rest of the Bears offense.

His production is true No.1 stuff, and he is the type of player the Bears should be willing to make moves to bring into the building. However, the Bears may not even have to make a move should the Chargers release him before the new league year hits.

Cutting Allen would be a bitter pill to swallow. However, it could be helpful as the team enters the offseason more than $20 million over the salary cap. An Allen cut would create $14.8 million in cap space, which would do wonders for that cap situation, and a post-June 1 designation on the cut would be even more beneficial for the Chargers, as it would create $17.5 million in cap space. It sounds like a no-brainer decision for an organization that needs to free up cap money.

When the Bears began cutting their players last season, the goal was to enter a rebuild mode to build a better future. Chicago appears to be headed in the right direction, but any outside help would be critical. Allen is still under contract until after the 2024 season, so if the Chargers are to look for a trade partner, that team would need to be willing to take on the remaining portion of his deal.

If any team can do that, it would be the Bears, which bodes well for the franchise's future. Not only are you improving this roster, but you are also improving it at one of the biggest areas this team needs help with. Allen would instantly become the best receiver available and one whose presence could elevate Justin Fields’ game due to his skills as a route-runner and ability to create separation. That could ultimately help Fields become the player the Bears expect him to be, which would be the final step in his development process.

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