The Chicago Bears enter Week 7 tied with the Minnesota Vikings for second place in the NFC North at 3-3, which, in a way, is a best-case scenario for this team. Very few pundits expected much from Matt Nagy and this year’s edition of the Bears, so the fact they have a meaningful game on Sunday against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a small moral victory.
But that doesn’t mean all things in Chicago are going well. There are clear areas of improvement needed, and it starts with some of the roster’s highest-paid players.
Here’s a look at four Bears whose play hasn’t matched their salary so far this year.
Robinson is off to the worst start of his career through six games, totaling just 21 catches for 234 yards and one touchdown. He’s on pace for just 60 catches, 663 yards, and three touchdowns—even with a 17th game factored in—in a season that the Bears are paying him just under $18M on the franchise tag. Sure, he’s been a victim of Chicago’s struggling passing attack, but he’s proven throughout his entire career that he’s talented enough to rise above poor quarterback play. It isn’t happening in 2021, which is bad timing for a player who’s likely headed for unrestricted free agency this offseason.
The bizarre two-year, $16M contract Graham signed in the 2020 offseason never made much sense, and it seems like an even worse contract in 2021 considering how little Graham’s contributions have been on offense. He’s played more than 20 snaps in just three games this season and is one of Chicago’s lowest-graded players on offense this year, according to Pro Football Focus. Graham has a $5.3M cap hit this season, an expensive number for a guy that’s produced just one catch for 11 yards through seven games.
Goldman has long been considered one of the most important players on the Bears’ defense, but after opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, his impact on the field this year has been limited. He’s appeared in just three games, has logged a total of just 91 snaps, and has—by far—the worst season grade he’s ever earned from Pro Football Focus (44.7). Goldman’s cap hit is the fourth-highest on the team ($7.8M). He’s far from that value on the field right now.
To be fair, Trevathan is still recovering from a knee injury that sent him to injured reserve to start the season, but his decline in play is a stark reminder of the questionable contract general manager Ryan Pace signed him to in March 2020. It was debatable at the time whether he was worth the three-year, $21.75M contract he was given, and in 2021, it’s clear his body can’t keep up anymore. He turns 32 years old in March, and unless he has a resurgence in the second half of the season, it’s highly unlikely he’ll be back in Chicago in 2022.
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