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6-Time Pro Bowler Keenan Allen is Now a Chicago Bear

| March 15th, 2024

Late last night, the Chicago Bears acquired Chargers all-star WR Keenan Allen for their 4th round pick (#110) in the 2024 NFL Draft. I’ve got some quick thoughts on the move:

  • Turns out that hole in the Bears’ cap created from Jaylon Johnson & D’Andre Swift’s deals had a purpose
  • Obviously this is a move focused on 2024, but I don’t mind the emphasis on next season. 2024 is a massive year for the entire Bears’ organization — in all likelihood, they’ll attempt to develop a rookie QB while competing for a playoff spot. If, therefore, the biggest critique of this move is that Chicago paid too much draft capital & 2024 salary dollars for an offensive leader that should spur the rookie’s development, I think we’ll all survive. Frankly, I think it’s refreshing to see the Bears over-address the young QB’s supporting cast for once.
  • Regardless of which Quarterback ultimately starts for the Bears next year, Keenan Allen should be a stabilizing force in the Bears’ down-to-down passing offense. He specializes in option routes, short-yardage routes, and playing within structure — all of which Caleb Williams and Justin Fields struggle with, meaning Allen could provide a strong guiding hand.
    • If we’re splitting hairs, I think timing routes will likely remain an issue for Justin Fields whereas Caleb Williams’ college tape shows signs of inconsistency more than an outright inability to play within structure, but this isn’t a Caleb Williams breakdown. Regardless of starter, Keenan should help sharpen a short-passing blade that was quite dull throughout 2023.

My overall grade? I like it. The fun factor is ~10/10. I’ve also already assumed that Matt Eberflus begged Poles to let him draft a 1st round defender anyways, so if this move is Poles’ way of making sure Chicago has weapons for a key 2024 season? I dig it.

This does make me wonder what the Bears’ plan is at WR going forward, but we can cross that bridge later. I’d love to draft a 2nd or 3rd round WR to develop throughout the year (Keon Coleman, Roman Wilson, Ricky Pearsall, etc), but I don’t know that the Bears will prioritize that. Also, is Keenan getting extended past 2024? I could see it, but he’ll be 33 next season. We’ll have to wait and see.

For now… Chicago added a 6-time Pro Bowler that’s a god amongst chain-moving WRs. He pairs perfectly with DJ Moore’s ability to threaten all levels of the field as well — those two should be monsters in 12-personnel.

I’m excited to see how this plays out — what an exciting time to be a Bears fan! What will Poles do from here? We’re just going to have to wait and see,

Bonus: Breaking Down Keenan Allen’s Route Running

Below I threw in some of my favorite clips from a light film study last night — check it out and let me know what you think.

Your Turn: What do you think of the Keenan Allen trade?

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