LAKE FOREST – There are a few things about the Bears’ offense that didn’t pan out the way that the franchise would have hoped when Matt Nagy took over in 2018.
Of course, the first is Mitchell Trubisky, who never developed into the franchise quarterback that Ryan Pace had hoped for when he moved up to select him in the 2017 NFL Draft. The general manager has made another try at that, and a more popular one, by getting signal caller Justin Fields in this April’s draft.
Another player that didn’t end up keeping his first year play going the rest of his career was a 2018 selection that Pace moved up in the second round to select.
That’s Anthony Miller, who burst onto the scene with seven touchdowns his rookie year, with the hope that he’d be able to turn into a reliable route receiver for the foreseeable future.
But that didn’t exactly pan out, and like Trubisky, he’s no longer a part of the team’s future plans.
Miller is off to the Texans in a trade reported this weekend but officially confirmed on Monday, as he goes with a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft to the Texans for a fifth-round pick.
In three seasons Miller made 134 catches for 1,564 yards and 11 touchdowns, with all but four of those coming in his rookie season. He ended up playing in 47 games for the Bears with 17 starts.
This past season, the receiver started to be overshadowed at times by rookie Darnell Mooney, who began to fit more in the franchise’s future plans. Miller saw his receptions fall from 52-49 and his per-catch average from 12.6 to 9.9 as he was unable to get the consistent rhythm in what was another difficult year for the offense.
Not helping his cause was an ejection in the Wild Card Game against the Saints in New Orleans, when he punched defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson in the head in the third quarter after the players exchanged words. This came after Gardner-Johnson did the same thing in a game against the Bears earlier in the season in which Javon Wims responded with punches, resulting in his two-game suspension.
All of these factors are the reason that Miller, who was thought to be a bright part of the Bears offense’s future, is going to try to restart his career somewhere else in 2021.
As Miller officially heads to Houston, the Bears added tight end Jesse James to a one-year contract. The six-year veteran spent his first four years with the Steelers and last two with the LIons, making 14 catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns in 2021.