Not Much Doubt that Eddie Royal is the Guy in the Slot This Year

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

Kevin White, Alshon Jeffery and … in the slot?

“Bears first-round pick Kevin White

“That’s a good question and the Bears have a variety of options at this point after the draft. Right now, I’d be quite surprised if Eddie Royal wasn’t the slot receiver. For starters, his $4.5 million base salary for this season is fully guaranteed, so he’s not going anywhere. Royal dealt with some injuries last season and wasn’t the player the Bears were expecting but he’s got a track record for producing and a history of working well with quarterback Jay Cutler.”

I tend to agree with Biggs’ assessment here. Royal didn’t have a great season in part because of the injuries and in part because the Bears started him on the outside for the first month of the season.

One reason Royal came to Chicago is because he felt that he could be more than a slot receiver and the Bears gave him that chance. But it was obvious on October 4 when the Bears played the Raiders and they moved Royal back to the slot that’s where he belonged. Royal had 6 receptions for 80 yards that game after getting only 12 for 117 yards total for the first three games before that on the outside.

I think a lot of people are rooting for seventh round pick Daniel Braverman and at 5’10” he seems to have taken on the annual role of the little underdog, try-hard, white guy. He will compete, I’m sure, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that Braverman is probably special teams and depth. When he’s healthy, Royal should be, and probably will be, the guy in the slot.

2 Replies to “Not Much Doubt that Eddie Royal is the Guy in the Slot This Year”

  1. If the Bears are going to be a playoff contender in 2016, they will need to upgrade from Royal at the slot.

  2. I have to mildly disagree. Royal was pretty good when he was in the slot and when he played. The key phrase being “when he played”. Nine games like he did in 2015 won’t cut it. But that hasn’t been his history so I’m reasonably optimistic.

    If he doesn’t work out it means you are playing a seventh round midget in his place. Braverman may turn out to be very good but only a fool would depend upon it.

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