Chicago Bears sign WR Eddie Royal

Eddie Royal caught 91 passes for 980 yards and 5 touchdowns as a 2nd round rookie in 2008, but combined for just 138 catches for 1361 yards and 5 touchdowns from 2009-2012 combined. Royal bounced back over the past 2 seasons though, catching 47 passes for 631 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2013 and 62 catches for 778 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2014, grading out above average in both seasons.

Now he reunites with Jay Cutler, with whom he put up those big rookie numbers. That alone doesn’t ensure he’ll put up those numbers again, but it definitely helps his chance of continuing his strong play from San Diego (and, for what it’s worth, he and Cutler are reportedly great friends). He also fills a big need in Chicago following the trade of Brandon Marshall, as the Bears really only had Marquess Wilson, a talented, but unproven 2013 7th round pick, after Alshon Jeffery on the depth chart previous. Royal is pretty much a pure slot receiver, which should assure that Wilson gets a chance as the starter opposite Jeffery, but he’ll help this receiving corps. At 15 million over 3 years with 10 million guaranteed, it’s a solid value.

Grade: B

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