New Orleans Saints sign restricted free agent Cameron Meredith to offer sheet
Nearly a month into the free agency period, the level of talent still available on the open market has significantly dropped off. Much of the remaining players have the designation of being a restricted free agent this offseason.
This is the case for veteran wide receiver Cameron Meredith, who was tendered by the Chicago Bears at $1.9 million that has left the door open for other teams to possibly entertain offering a deal. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the New Orleans Saints have decided to go that route by presenting Meredith with a two-year, $10 million deal.
Terms update: Saints signing Bears’ RFA WR Cameron Meredith to a 2-year offer sheet, per source. Expecting money to be about $5 million per year – 2 years, roughly $10 million.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 6, 2018
This contract offer now shifts things back onto the Bears if they want to retain him by matching the deal that the Saints have put on the table. Chicago has already gone through a similar situation earlier this offseason with cornerback Kyle Fuller as they matched the offer that the Green Bay Packers presented him.
Meredith had missed the entire 2017 season due to a torn ACL that he suffered in the third preseason game last August. He was coming off a career-best campaign where he recorded 66 catches for 888 receiving yards and four touchdowns. This was a significant jump forward that had brought forth the belief that he could become one of the Bears’ top receiving options.
However, the team has made a strong effort in keeping him aboard placing the lowest tender on him this offseason. The Bears currently possess more than enough salary cap space to match the offer sheet with just more than $31 million at their disposal. The level of interest in bringing him back could be skewed a bit with the offseason additions of both Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel.
There is certainly a role for him to fulfill that could be alongside Robinson on the outside with Gabriel playing in the slot. These next few days will be telling if the Bears have a desire to bring back Meredith be a big part of their passing game.