The Chicago Bears’ leading receiver from 2016 is drawing outside interest.
ESPN’s Field Yates reports Cameron Meredith visited the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday. Meredith is a restricted free agent after the team offered him an original round tender worth $1.907 million last week. HOWEVER, the Bears could lose Meredith without receiving any compensation if the team refuses to match an offer sheet signed with the Colts … or any other team, for that matter.
The Bears could have virtually ensured Meredith’s return by handing him the second-round tender, which was worth $2.914 million. Because, in all likelihood, the odds of a team coughing up a second-round pick to sign a player coming off an ACL injury with just one year of solid NFL production would have been low. Instead, the Colts – or any other team – could be emboldened to sign Meredith to an aggressive offer sheet knowing there is no risk of having to send compensation to Chicago.
Meredith signed as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois State in 2015, but opened eyes in 2016 by catching 66 passes for 888 yards and scoring four touchdowns, moving his way up the depth chart and into the role of lead receiver. Pro Football Focus listed Meredith as owning the best double move in the NFL after his breakout and he was expected to be Mike Glennon’s top target in 2017. Unfortunately, an ACL injury suffered in Week 3 of the preseason caused Meredith to miss the entire year.
The Bears’ passing attack struggled without Meredith, but figures to be improved if he returns and joins free agent additions Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. On the other hand, the Colts could see Meredith as a quality complimentary piece to team with top wideout T.Y. Hilton.