The secondary market for free agent receivers is starting to build momentum, and it goes beyond Chicago Bears restricted free agent Cameron Meredith.
Indeed, you can add Brice Butler to the mix of intriguing targets who could be catching passes in Chicago starting in 2018. Jane Slater of NFL Network tweets that the Bears, Seahawks, Jaguars, and Cardinals are teams that Butler currently has lined up for visits.
Apparently, Butler originally wanted to go back to the Dallas Cowboys, the team for which he caught 15 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns last season, but basically demanded a bigger role in the offense: “With Dallas, the situation has to be right for me to go back. If I’m not starting, I’m not going back,” Butler said on FS1 earlier in the offseason, via SportsDayDFW.com.
Dallas has since moved on by signing Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson to play along side Dez Bryant, leaving Butler on the hunt for a new gig elsewhere. Butler played 13 games for the Cowboys in 2017 and on just 24.5 percent of the team’s offensive snaps. He wrapped up his three-year stint in Dallas having caught 43 passes for 794 yards, and six touchdowns. His 18.5 yards per reception is intriguing, but didn’t produce much with regards to value.
If Butler is looking at Chicago for a starting role, he might have another thing coming. With Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel coming to town, Butler might be the team’s four receiver option – especially if Cameron Meredith returns (or dare I say Kevin White stays healthy). Still the Bears should explore all options when it comes to finding pass-catchers for Mitch Trubisky to target in 2018.
Perhaps the 6-3, 215-pound Butler could earn his way into an increase in playing time in 2018 with a change of scenery. But if he’s looking for starter’s reps, Chicago might not be the place for him (Michael: Which feels almost unnatural when talking about the Bears and wide receivers.)