CHICAGO – A lot of people and sports pundits are knocking the Bears for missing out on a chance to add a high-quality target for Justin Fields during the meat of the offseason.

While they may have missed the ultimate opportunity, there are still plenty of players out there that can come in and help in 2022. And possibly beyond.

One such player is wide receiver Will Fuller V. Fuller is one of the league’s premier deep threats, when healthy. This is evidenced by the fact that Fuller is tied for the eighth-highest yards per reception mark (14.7) among wide receivers with at least 341 targets since 2016.

But, Fuller’s health is the key, here: he’s only played in 41 games over the last four seasons.

At the same time, his inability to stay on the field may come in handy for the Bears. Ryan Poles could use that as a reason to bring down Fuller’s asking price, if needed. Fuller is also just a little over 28-years-old, meaning, the Bears could sign him to a two-year deal to help with the cap hit. And, that also gives the Bears a shot at landing a very good player if Fuller can actually stay healthy.

Fuller’s ability as a deep threat and Justin Fields’ deep ball efficiency make up 98% of the reasoning behind this idea. The best coaches play to their players’ strengths, right? Well, Fields has one of the best deep balls in the NFL. Even if this is just his second year in the league. Bringing in a guy like Fuller will emphasize the need to push the ball downfield, which will only help Fields’ game in 2022.

The Athletic‘s Ted Nguyen recently wrote on how a true, reliable deep threat is key to taking advantage of Fields’ strengths:

“Fields is a big-game hunter — he wants to look for deep opportunities downfield…. I think it’s better for a quarterback to play with aggression and have experience temper him down than to try to get a conservative quarterback to play more aggressively. That being said, I think Fields needs receivers who can get open deep and make plays downfield….

I think Fields is accurate enough to throw to receivers with different body types but I want to see him throw with receivers specializing in winning downfield.”

Per Pro Football Focus, Fields finished with the fifth-highest big-time throw rate (34.8%) among all quarterbacks with at least 22 pass attempts of 20+ air yards in 2021. That mark was better than guys named Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson. What makes it even more impressive is this was accomplished with a lack of weapons on the Bears offense and a bad offensive scheme in Matt Nagy’s scheme.

Matt Eberflus has already noted the effectiveness of Fields’ deep ball and he plans to utilize it in 2022.

“Man, he throws a good deep ball,” Eberflus recently told reporters. “I’m excited about that and you can see it in the 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s. And we’re gonna take our shots down the field and man, he does a nice job of that. That’s what stands out to me.”

A semi-improved offensive line and better scheme should help create more opportunities for Fields to go deep in 2022. But as of right now, there aren’t many legit threats on the Bears roster to take advantage of that.

Fuller will help fix that. It’s a risk for sure, but, if the he stays healthy, then the Bears will have hit a home run.

You can check out Nguyen’s full column, here.

Featured image via Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports