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NFL insider predicts Bears will pursue top wide receiver Mike Evans

DJ Moore and Mike Evans join forces on the outside ... ?

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A franchise-altering offseason awaits the Bears ahead of the 2024 NFL season.

With the projected ninth-most cap space in the league this offseason (there could be more with cuts), the Bears will have a lot of spending power to upgrade their roster. The Bears finished this past season with the 19th-ranked offense and defense. It's safe to say they have some work in front of them.

One ESPN insider projects the Bears will go big fish hunting in free agency.

"Big prediction for the offseason: The Bears will use the No. 1 pick on a new quarterback and invest in that quarterback by signing Mike Evans, one of the top free-agent wide receivers. Evans has 10 straight 1,000-yard seasons and would pair nicely with DJ Moore in this offense," ESPN's Aaron Schatz wrote.

If you recall, this prediction fits with a separate prediction Schatz wrote in the same story. He projected the Bears will trade Justin Fields to the Falcons in exchange for former No. 4 pick in the 2021 NFL draft Kyle Pitts.

With that being said, it feels increasingly more likely the Bears will end up drafting Caleb Williams, or another quarterback in the 2024 NFL draft, to replace Fields. Early reports suggest the Bears are leaning toward Williams at this juncture, though it isn't clear. The Bears have interviewed Kliff Kingsbury, Williams' quarterback coach at USC.

It's evident from this past season that just DJ Moore isn't enough for the passing corps, regardless of who is at quarterback. Sure, Moore had a career year that saw him catch 96 passes for just over 1,300 yards and eight touchdowns. But as aforementioned, the offense still finished 19th in the league.

The other wide receiver corps --- Darnell Mooney, Equanimeous St. Brown, Tyler Scott, etc. --- weren't effective. Need proof? Rookie wide receiver Roschon Johnson was the team's fourth-leading receiver with 209 yards. The Bears need more in this area.

Some speculate the Bears could try and snag Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr., who is widely projected to be a generational wide receiver. But, that would take some nifty maneuvering if the Bears draft Williams with the No. 1 pick.

However it unfolds, the Bears need wide receiver help. Could Mike Evans be part of the solution?

Evans, 30, was inarguably one of the league's most elite receivers this season. He led the league in receiving touchdowns (15) along with over 1,200 yards and 79 catches. He earned second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors, too.

Evans will be a free agent this offseason. Spotrac projects his annual market value of just under $24 million per year. Would the Bears be willing to pony up for a second elite receiver?

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