Bears GM Ryan Pace not surprised by outside interest in Cam Meredith

SHARE Bears GM Ryan Pace not surprised by outside interest in Cam Meredith
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Bears wide receiver Cam Meredith is carted off the field in August with a knee injury. (AP)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Wide receiver Cam Meredith’s free-agency tour recently took him to New Orleans, Bears general manager Ryan Pace’s old stomping grounds.

But Pace isn’t overly concerned. He anticipated that Meredith, a restricted free agent, would receive interest from other teams after the Bears used an original-round tender on him.

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Meredith has met with the Saints, Ravens and Colts. If he signs an offer sheet with another team, the Bears have the right of first refusal. His tender costs $1.907 million.

“When we tender him that way, we know these are some of the circumstances,” Pace said Tuesday during the NFL’s annual meetings at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes.

“So we’re monitoring it closely. We know we’ll have a decision to make if an offer comes in, and we’re prepared for that.”

Similar to cornerback Kyle Fuller’s situation, an offer sheet can help determine Meredith’s value. The Bears used the transition tag on Fuller, and he signed a four-year, $56 million offer sheet with the Packers. The Bears matched Fuller’s deal within hours.

“Teams are probably weighing the productivity [Meredith] has had in the past, along with the injury that he suffered,” Pace said.

The Bears signed receivers Allen Robinson (three years, $42 million) and Taylor Gabriel (four years, $26 million) in free agency, but coach Matt Nagy sounded prepared to find a role for Meredith in his offense.

Meredith was the Bears’ No. 1 receiver last year before he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the preseason.

In 2016, Meredith, a 2015 undrafted free-agent signing from Illinois State, caught 66 passes for 888 yards and four touchdowns.

He excelled outside and in the slot, displaying the versatility that Nagy requires from players in his offense.

“The stuff that he’s done, he fits really well — really well,” Nagy said. “He does a lot of great things. Unfortunately, he has the injury, and that’s a hard deal.

“For us, you could never have enough wide receivers, and you see what he does. He’s a guy that has that nice balance of size and speed. He’s a good route runner, has good hands, was a quarterback. He fits well.”

Follow me on Twitter @adamjahns

Email: ajahns@suntimes.com

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