One of the biggest criticisms of the Chicago Bears this offseason has been their failure to surround quarterback Justin Fields with more offensive weapons.

Chicago was frugal when it came to adding free agents this offseason, signing mostly depth pieces.

One of those depth pieces, however, could end up playing a significant role for the Bears in 2022.

Chicago signed veteran wide receiver Tajae Sharpe to a one-year deal earlier this offseason.

Sharpe showed promise as a rookie in 2016 with the Tennessee Titans, catching 41 passes for 522 yards and two touchdowns.

The former UMass standout didn’t see his career take off after his breakout rookie season. Instead, Sharpe has struggled in the years since, battling injuries and failing to live up to expectations.

Chicago Bears
Aug 13, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Tajae Sharpe (88) pulls in a 25-yard reception in front of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Elijah Lee (44) in the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Sharpe, though, is still a talented player who can be a solid option for the Bears in 2022.

The former fifth-round pick made his presence felt on Saturday in Chicago’s preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. Sharpe made an impressive one-handed catch as he was falling out of bounds.

Quarterback Justin Fields made it clear after the game that he’s a fan of Sharpe and he thinks he can be a key contributor for the Bears in 2022.

β€œJust kind of gave (Sharpe) a signal out there, and threw the ball up, one-on-one,” said Field after Chicago’s 19-14 win.

“Just gave him a shot and he came down with it,” added Fields. “He’s a great receiver. Has great ball skills, has great routes. I’m excited to see what he does for us this season for sure.”

Sharpe is still just 27 years old so he has plenty left in the tank. While I don’t think he’s going to suddenly turn into a Pro-Bowl caliber wide receiver, he could still be a player that helps Fields’ development and gives Chicago another reliable option in the passing game.

Featured image via Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports