Chicago Bears: Keep watching these rising 2021 free agents

Chicago Bears (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Curtis Samuel
Chicago Bears (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /

1. Wide Receiver Curtis Samuel

The Carolina Panthers are an interesting team to watch as a Bears fan, because there’s obviously the former possibility the Bears had to sign Teddy Bridgewater. Before his injury, Bridgewater had looked pretty good in 2020. He had the offense running smoothly, even without their top weapon.

One of the biggest reasons why the Panthers offense has been able to stay afloat without Christian McCaffrey is due to the emergence of wideout Curtis Samuel.

Now in his fourth year, Samuel is positioned to see career highs in receptions, receiving yards, rushing yards and total touchdowns. He’s one of the best gadget players in the league, but he’s also proven he can run routes and show up as a deep threat.

Through Week 11, Samuel has caught 49 passes for 445 yards and three touchdowns. He also has 26 carries for 112 yards and two scores. As the Panthers’ third wide receiver, he’s become a mainstay in the offense week-in and week-out.

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When a guy like Robby Anderson hasn’t scored since Week 1, Samuel has seemingly overtaken him as the next-best option next to D.J. Moore.

Samuel’s season is somewhat of a nice surprise, because prior to the season, there were rumors that the Panthers were looking to trade him. Signing Anderson apparently made Samuel expendable, but Carolina was wise not to deal him.

Adding Samuel to a Bears offense that could be without Allen Robinson in 2021 would be one of the better signings they could make. Of course, that’s assuming they don’t draft another wideout. But, seeing he and Darnell Mooney next to one another as one of the speediest duos in the league would do this offense good.