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What the Bears’ 2019 draft means for WR Taylor Gabriel

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What the Bears’ 2019 draft means for WR Taylor Gabriel

by Brendan Sugrue

https://bearswire.usatoday.com/2019/05/09/what-the-bears-2019-draft-means-for-wr-taylor-gabriel/

When the Chicago Bears inked former Falcons WR Taylor Gabriel to a four-year, $26 million dollar deal in March of 2018, he, along with former Jaguars pro-bowl WR Allen Robinson, had the task of turning around the dismal wide receiving corps from 2017 that featured players such as Kendall Wright, Dontrelle Inman, Markus Wheaton, and Tre McBride.

Gabriel did his part, catching 67 passes for 688 yards, both good enough for second highest on the team, along with two touchdowns. His 72% catch rate was the highest among Bears wide receivers with at least 10 receptions and he was a key factor in helping lead the Bears to a 12-4 record. Gabriel figures to once again play an integral part in Matt Nagy's offense in 2019, but there's a strong chance it will be his final season in the blue and orange.

When the Bears drafted former Georgia WR Riley Ridley in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and signed former Missouri speedster WR Emanuel Hall as an undrafted free agent, it not only gave QB Mitchell Trubisky more weapons to work with going into the fall but gave the team more flexibility going into 2020.

Beginning this fall, it's expected the Bears will extend C/G Cody Whitehair, as Ryan Pace tends to lock players up right before the regular season. Couple that with an upcoming extension for S Eddie Jackson in 2020, plus the fifth-year option for OLB Leonard Floyd, and suddenly the cap doesn't look so friendly anymore. This also doesn't account for the Khalil Mack deal and the impending decision on QB Mitchell Trubisky, who will be looking for a contract extension as early as next offseason.

All of these potential moves mean the Bears will look to save money at certain spots. And given they acquired two receivers who both may be on the active roster come September on rookie deals, Gabriel could be the odd-man out. His deal runs through 2022, but has an out after the 2019 season where the Bears can save $14 million dollars over two years, with a hit of just $2 million in dead money, according to Spotrac.

There's also the situation regarding Robinson, who signed a three-year, $42 million dollar deal. Coming off an ACL injury in 2017, Robinson didn't light up defenses the way he did in Jacksonville, but now healthy for an entire offseason, the 26 year old playmaker is poised for a breakout season.

Depending on his 2019 campaign, the Bears may look to extend him as well, as he will be entering the final year of his deal and is much more of the prototypical WR1 than Gabriel. The Bears could be content with a WR group that features Robinson, Anthony Miller, Ridley, and potentially Hall or Cordarrelle Patterson in 2020.

There are a lot of moving pieces with the salary cap and things can change instantly in the NFL, but if Ridley and even Hall show something this season, it doesn't appear "Turbo" will last much longer in Chicago.

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I would say if Hall makes the team as an UDFA or even sticks on practice squad than Gabriel is gone next year for cap savings.  

Gabriel is still going to be a starter and major contributor this year or should be barring injury.  If that becomes writing on wall I hope that doesn't discourage him.  

If Robinson has a bad year he is probably gone for cap savings.  I don't believe Robinson is going to have a bad year though unless he is hurt and I believe he is here next year  and our number 1 receiver for next two years.  

It would actually be ideal if Hall impresses and plays to his talent and we can get that cap savings.  

If Tolliver can replace Prince and Hall can replace Gabriel that would really make for a nice cap situation and Pace will look like a genius.  

That's all speculation at this point though.  Things have to play out in real life.  

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Posted (edited)

I would certainly prefer losing Gabriel and replacing him with one of the "we're not brothers" Hall and Kerrith Whyte to losing ARob.

We're still gonna need a true #1 WR and I'm unsure either Miller or Ridley are that guy.

Edited by soulman

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49 minutes ago, soulman said:

I would certainly prefer losing Gabriel and replacing him with one of the "we're not brothers" Hall and Kerrith Whyte to losing ARob.

We're still gonna need a true #1 WR and I'm unsure either Miller or Ridley are that guy.

I think it is worth reminding people that A-Rob is 25 years old.   I think in many people's mind he is older because he has been in league so long.  

He hasn't even hit prime yet.  

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2 hours ago, dll2000 said:

I think it is worth reminding people that A-Rob is 25 years old.   I think in many people's mind he is older because he has been in league so long.  

He hasn't even hit prime yet.  

That aligns with my thinking about why we may choose to extend him if he can become that key #1 go to guy for Mitch.

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Posted (edited)

Gabriel was a solid dump off option, but he didn't stretch the field vertically near as much as I had hoped. 

 

I think he is the odd man out after this season. Montgomery should be able to be the dump off option while Robinson hopefully ascends to be a true number one. Miller and Ridley should help form a great trio for years and then with Wims and Hall rounding out the top 5 receivers we have a ridiculous corps potentially.

Gabriel is a good player to have but he doesn't offer anything that can't be done by someone else. He isn't the player Robinson is, Miller and Ridley are great route runners that should own the short to intermediate levels, Wims offers a size mismatch, Hall has the speed Gabriel showed for MUCH less money, Patyerson offers speed amd YAC while also being able to be thr a gadget guy and Cohen offers the dump off with much more potential YAC than Gabriel whole also filling the gadget role.

Gabriel is a good guy to have, but he simply is replaceable.  

Edited by Sugashane

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Bye midget 

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8 minutes ago, Tyty said:

Bye midget 

You do know that the term midget is horribly politically incorrect don't you?

We're supposed to call them little *******.  :ph34r:

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4 minutes ago, soulman said:

You do know that the term midget is horribly politically incorrect don't you?

We're supposed to call them little *******.  :ph34r:

 

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I really liked Gabriel before he was even a Bear. The article's correct, though. Unless Gabriel proves to be absolutely essential to that offense, the writing is on the wall. 

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I said this as soon as we brought Hall aboard as a UDFA. IF Hall shows any kind of potential, Pace isn't going to risk losing him on waivers to get to the PS if he thinks he can replace Gabriel next year.

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Next season will be one in which Pace and Nagy will have some tough decisions to make regarding some of our core vets.

We've had few if any major cap casualties for awhile now and IMHO that's about to change.

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Yeah I can see Gabriel being a goner after this season if the brass like what they see from Hall. Bigger and faster than Gabriel...

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Gabriel caught everything in sight last year and we're already looking forward to cutting him in favor for a UDFA receiver. 

Never change, Chicago. 

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