NFL Free Agency Fantasy Fallout: Bears mystify with Jimmy Graham signing as we wait on their QB decision

Not every move makes sense in the moment. Some of them are just flat out befuddling. Such was the case on Monday night when the Bears agreed to a deal that guarantees Jimmy Graham $9 million. 

The Bears entered free agency with the fourth-fewest targets available from 2019 and more tight ends on their payroll than any other team. So I don’t know why they’d place that type of priority on Graham other than it probably doesn’t bode well for Trey Burton’s future in Chicago. 

In two years in Green Bay, Graham averaged 7.3 yards per target and scored once every 30 targets. Unfortunately for Graham, the Bears only sent 12% of their targets to tight ends in 2019, the fourth-lowest mark in the league. I assume Graham’s contract means that number will go up, but it would have to soar to make him Fantasy relevant. That’s partially because we can’t expect him to match that efficiency with Mitchell Trubisky under center.

I don’t believe Trubisky is a lost cause, but he’s significantly worse than Aaron Rodgers. Most are. Of course, it’s still not certain Trubisky will be the Bears starter. They’ve been linked to Teddy Bridgewater, Andy Dalton and Nick Foles. Bridgewater now looks destined for Carolina for him to land in Chicago, but the related Cam Newton news means we’ve got another possible starter.

I won’t change efficiency projections for the Bears if they sign Nick Foles. I’m not certain he’s better than Trubisky. I would bump Graham a little if they signed Dalton. He loves his tight ends in the red zone. But the true wild card is Newton. If the Bears trade for him that means he passed a physical. If he’s healthy there’s a significant chance he’s worlds better than the rest of these quarterbacks.

For now, I’ll leave Trubisky in the projections and keep pondering why they signed Graham. Here are my 2020 Bears projections as of March 17:

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