Bears Could Circle Back to 1st-Round WR Amid NFL Trade Rumors

Treylon Burks Trade Bears Trade Rumors Chicago Bears Rumors

Getty Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks could be on the trade block before the 2024 season.

The Chicago Bears are setting up rookie quarterback Caleb Williams for success in 2024 after assembling a top-notch receiving trio over the past few months. He will have no shortage of passing targets with DJ Moore, Keenan Allen and first-round rookie Rome Odunze in the fold alongside star tight end Cole Kmet.

Bears general manager Ryan Poles has shown he is a forward-thinker when it comes to constructing his rosters, though. Could his desire to keep things steady for Williams for the long-term future lead to him calling the Tennessee Titans about Treylon Burks?

Rumors about Burks’ roster security with Tennessee have intensified over the past few months of the 2024 offseason. The Titans signed Calvin Ridley to a four-year contract in the early parts of free agency and, after the draft, added veteran Tyler Boyd on a one-year deal. That could leave Burks — a 2022 first-round pick — as the fourth receiver on the depth chart behind the new signings and returning star DeAndre Hopkins.

In light of the additions, ESPN insider Mike Clay thinks the Titans could be “planning to move on” from Burks and to bring an end to his disappointing two-year stint. If he is right, the Bears may be willing to take a low-cost chance on unlocking Burks’ potential after originally showing an interest in him during the 2022 pre-draft process.

Could Treylon Burks Reverse Bust Status With Bears?

From the Titans’ perspective, there is no denying that Burks has been a letdown as their No. 18 overall selection. He has caught just 49 passes for 665 yards and one touchdown over his first two seasons in Tennessee and missed 12 total games due to injuries.

Adding to the sting is also the fact that the Titans traded away superstar A.J. Brown to move up and get Burks. Tennessee did not want to pay Brown the $100 million contract he sought, so the team traded him to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 18th pick (and a third-rounder) in hopes of using the first-rounder on land Burks as their new No. 1.

Since the trade, Brown has caught 194 passes for 2,952 yards and 18 touchdowns and has been named a Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro in back-to-back seasons.

The Bears, however, would not need Burks to become an instant contributor for them if they acquired him in a trade. He would be an addition intended to improve the overall quality of their depth behind their primary trio with the upside of developing into a big-bodied playmaker (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) for their offense further down the line.

Burks may also benefit from having a consistent quarterback in place with Williams. Williams has still not proven anything at the NFL level yet, but the Bears are hopeful that he can end their long-running mediocrity at the position. If there is an opportunity to add another first-round playmaker to his supporting cast, why not explore it?

Treylon Burks Trade Would Also Add WR Insurance

It is fair to question whether Chicago would have much interest in trading for a wide receiver after working to stack the position in 2024. And even if the Titans do put Burks on the trade block before the season, the Bears would likely only have interest if they felt they could acquire him for a low cost — likely a fifth-round selection or lower.

Still, under the right circumstances, the Bears might like the additional security Burks would provide them as they work to answer a few long-term questions at the position.

The biggest 2025 question mark for the Bears is whether Allen will sign a new contract to return. He is entering the final year of his current deal and will be 33 before the start of the 2025 season. The Bears could be persuaded to invest in him again if he is stellar for their offense in 2024, but it remains a distinct possibility they will not want to pay him with Odunze now on the roster and Moore needing an extension before 2026.

With Burks, the Bears would have a developmental guardrail in place if Allen walks. He has not lived up to his first-round potential, but he is still 24 and talented enough that he could still turn things around. Part of the motivation, too, is that the Bears do not currently have many long-term options developing in their receiving corps.

Maybe the Bears are comfortable letting Tyler Scott, Velus Jones Jr., Dante Pettis and Collin Johnson battle for the depth roles in 2024. But if, say, a 2025 sixth-round pick is all it would cost to add Burks to the fold, the long-term potential may justify that risk.

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