The Chicago Bears offense is currently in a state of flux. For starters, they said goodbye to their quarterback of the past eight seasons and replaced him with a guy who has thrown 11 passes over the past two seasons. That in itself is enough to make any fan base feel a little on edge.
But it didn’t end there.
Shortly after that, they lost their top wide receiver to free agency. And not just a good wide receiver, one of the best wide receivers in the history of the team. One who is seventh in team history in receptions (302) and third in team history in yards (4,549).
The loss of Jay Cutler was expected as most had assumed his time in Chicago was up, but the loss of Alshon Jeffery stung a little more. He is only 27 years old and entering the prime of his career. He was the big-play receiver on an offense that didn’t have many options. Replacing him will certainly be no small task.
The Chicago Bears top returning receiver will be Cameron Meredith, who burst onto the scene last season with 66 catches for 888 yards and four touchdowns. The Bears will certainly be hoping for more of the same from Meredith this season. But what they will be hoping for even more is to see the emergence of third-year man, Kevin White.
The former seventh overall selection in the 2015 draft was supposed to be the guy lining up across from Jeffery to form one of the best wide receiver tandems in the league. Now, after only playing in four games over the past two seasons, he is being counted on to help fill the void left by Jeffery’s departure.
There has never really been a doubt about White’s ability. He has the size (6 foot 3, 210 pounds) and speed to be an elite receiver in the NFL. The issue has been his inability to stay on the field. He missed all of the 2015 season due to a stress fracture in his leg. Then he played in four games last season before a fractured fibula sent him out for the remainder of the year.
— Bears Report (@bears_fanly) April 18, 2017
White recently returned to the practice field to take part in the Chicago Bears offseason training program, which is a good sign for the upcoming season. The time is now for him to show what he can do. If healthy, he is going to get the opportunity this season to prove that GM, Ryan Pace, made the right move by making him the seventh pick of the draft in 2015.
A big year from White would certainly help soften the blow of losing a guy like Jeffery. Now it’s up to him to make it happen.
Todd Thorstenson is a staff writer covering the Chicago Bears as well as Illinois Fighting Illini football for EndZoneScore.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Thor1323