The Chicago Bears used the franchise tag to keep one unhappy wide receiver on the roster. However, the franchise has another talented pass-catcher looking to break out of prison.
On Wednesday, NFL Network reported that slot receiver Anthony Miller is on the trading block and the Bears have been “engaged in trade talks” with several teams. Miller is in the final year of his rookie deal, one paying the former second-round pick just $1.2 million in base salary for 2021.
The 26-year-old speed threat — 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash — has racked up 134 receptions for 1,564 yards and 11 touchdowns in 47 games over three seasons. Miller is coming off a down year in 2020 (49 catches for 485 yards and two scores) and raised concerns about his character after punching New Orleans Saints safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
Still, the Memphis product would fill a huge need on the Eagles’ roster while saving them a high draft pick. And they certainly have the assets to give up in a trade. Miller spent 489 snaps in 2020 in the slot (86% of his playing time, per NFL Network) and could slide right into a starting role in Philly.
A storyline to watch: The #Bears have been discussing a trade involving WR Anthony Miller with a number of teams, sources. The former 2nd round pick could be on the move. Stay tuned…
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 7, 2021
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Eagles Looking for High-Character Players
Remember, Miller caused a stir in Chicago last year when he seemed to call out Matt Nagy’s vanilla play-calling. His character came into question.
“I feel like there’s been a lot of underlying issues within our offense that hasn’t allowed everybody to blossom as they would want to,” Miller said, via Bear Digest. “I just show up to work every day with the same mindset. Trying to be great, you know what I’m saying? No matter what the circumstances are. Just trying to control what I control, that’s all I can do.”
— Michael Greger (@mike_greger) March 18, 2021
That kind of attitude might not play well in Philadelphia. The organization has long-valued team-first players and high-character men on and off the field. New head coach Nick Sirianni mentioned looking for four things in roster additions: tough players, high football IQ players, competitive players, high-character players.
“First obviously talent is the main thing,” Sirianni told reporters on March 18. “Like I have those four things, but you don’t want me suiting up on Sunday. But talent is the first thing. The second thing is the character of the player. Those four things, that is something we’re looking for from each guy.”
Bears WR Anthony Miller (@AnthonyMiller_3) was absolutely lethal in the slot during his rookie season.
His 5 slot TDs tied for the third most among WRs in 2018 (per @PFF).
Chicago is building a nice receiving corps 👀 pic.twitter.com/Rdy7oO5Jtr
— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) July 25, 2019
Sirianni also pointed to bringing in guys who aren’t afraid to work their tails off, players who bring it every week no matter the team’s record.
“Those guys maximize their potential,” Sirianni said. “The players that have those four things, it just feels like every player that I’ve been around, that I am like, ‘I can’t get on the bus or plane without him,’ he has those four qualities.”
No Lack of Energy for Sirianni
Say what you want about Sirianni, but the 39-year-old has more juice than a carton of Minute Maid. He’s always amped up and excited, especially when he’s talking about football.
The Eagles’ website posted a 25-minute video of Sirianni breaking down film and his contagious energy jumped off the screen. The coach even rewound the tape on a first-down celebration and analyzed the reactions. Bring the juice!