Bears GM Ryan Pace: All parties will benefit from Anthony Miller trade to Texans

Rather than holding out hope that Miller would become more reliable, Pace moved the 2018 second-round pick to Houston.

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The Bears traded up to draft Miller at No. 51 overall in 2018, but he was unreliable and fell behind rookie Darnell Mooney last season.

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Bears general manager Ryan Pace was more invested in wide receiver Anthony Miller than anyone else at Halas Hall after trading up to draft him three years ago, but even he couldn’t keep waiting. Rather than holding out hope that he’d become more reliable, Pace packaged Miller and a seventh-round pick in a trade to the Texans for a 2022 fifth-rounder.

“It just became a situation where, hey, both parties can benefit,” said Pace, who added that he’d been talking to Houston all summer about the deal. “Once I realized we could get a fifth-round pick out of this... And we feel good about the receiver room that we have. There’s a lot of competition there. It all connected together where the timing was right, and we wish him nothing but the best and we’re moving forward.”

Pace took Miller in the second round (No. 51 overall) in 2018, but he did not play up to his draft status. Coaches talked publicly about not being able to trust him to run routes correctly, and he completely lost his composure and was ejected from the Bears’ playoff game last season.

Nagy was especially exasperated by that lapse because he devoted part of the week leading up to the game to showing examples of Saints safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson’s taunting antics and warning players to avoid being baited into an altercation. Miller couldn’t follow that directive, though, and was thrown out for punching Gardner-Johnson after a play.

He slipped to 49 catches, 485 yards and two touchdowns last season as rookie Darnell Mooney overtook him in the offense. Mooney played 73% of the snaps, while Miller got just 55%.

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