Chicago Bears RFA WR Meredith visits Colts

No compensation for Bears if they decline to match an offer

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H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Bears' Cameron Meredith holds on to a Brian Hoyer pass for a first down as Lion's corner back Quandre Diggs makes the stop in the fouth quarter Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The Bears could be facing a difficult decision on wide receiver Cam Meredith, who emerged as their No. 1 receiver in 2016, even though he was inactive for the first two games.

Meredith, a restricted free agent who missed all of 2017 with a torn ACL in his left knee, received the lowest tender offer from the Bears, $1.907 million, last week. According to multiple sources, he visited the Colts on Tuesday in search of an offer sheet, which the Bears have the option of matching and retaining his services. 

If the Bears don’t match an offer for Meredith, they receive nothing in compensation. If they had tendered him at the higher level of $2.914 million, it effectively would have prevented other teams from making him an offer, since they would owe the Bears a second-round pick if they signed the 6-foot-3, 207-pounder.

The Colts are in need of a No. 2 receiver to pair with their WR1 T.Y. Hilton, since they lost unrestricted free agent Donte Moncrief to the Jaguars last week. Meredith is also expected to visit at least one other team, and the Cowboys reportedly have interest. 

Meredith caught 66 passes for 888 yards in his breakout season with the Bears two years ago, and he was penciled in as a starter last season across from Kevin White. But Meredith suffered the season-ending knee injury in the Bears’ third preseason game, although he is expected back on the field by the start of training camp.

The 25-year-old Meredith began his career at Illinois State as a quarterback but moved to wide receiver for his final two seasons. He went undrafted in 2015 but signed with the Bears and caught 11 passes for 120 yards as a rookie.

Last week, the Bears signed former Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson for $42 million over three years, ex-Falcon receiver Taylor Gabriel for $26 million over four years and former Eagles tight end Trey Burton for $32 million on a four-year deal.

The Bears had the NFL’s least productive passing attack last season.
 

Pro Football Weekly