Wheaton (shoulder) received $5 million guaranteed on the two-year, $11 million deal he signed with Chicago, Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. It's a surprisingly strong contract for a player who caught just four passes in three games during an injury-plagued 2016 season -- a year that many expected to serve as his breakout campaign. Wheaton did turn 79 targets into 44 catches for 749 yards (9.5 YPT) and five touchdowns the previous season while mostly serving as Pittsburgh's No. 3 wideout behind Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant. Wheaton never quite emerged as a consistent second option behind Brown when given the chance, but the speedy 26-year-old might still have a bit of untapped upside. He'll be paid like a high-end No. 3 receiver -- as will fellow free-agent acquisition Kendall Wright, who signed a one-year, $4 million contract Saturday. With Cameron Meredith and injury-plagued Kevin White (fibula) projecting as the starters, Wheaton may end up battling Wright for the No. 3 role. Wheaton said he expects to be ready for the start of the team's offseason program in April.
Wheaton (shoulder), who signed with the Bears on Friday, said he expects to be ready for the start of the team's offseason program in April, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports. A torn labrum limited Wheaton to just three appearances in his final season in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers didn't show much (if any) interest in bringing him back. The departure of Alshon Jeffery leaves some snaps and targets up for grabs, but even if he's back to full health, Wheaton may just end up competing for the No. 3 job behind Cameron Meredith and Kevin White (fibula).
The Bears signed Wheaton (shoulder) on Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Given plenty of opportunity to establish himself opposite Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh, Wheaton joins a receiving corps that has lost the services of Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal (toe) this offseason. Wheaton is coming off an injury-plagued campaign in which he made just three appearances before landing on IR due to a torn labrum, which required surgery in January. For his career, he's hauled in 107 of 187 passes for 1,508 yards and eight touchdowns across 47 games.
The Steelers have shown little interest in re-signing Wheaton (shoulder) as he prepares for unrestricted free agency, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. After playing in only three games during the final season of his rookie contract, Wheaton underwent surgery in early January to repair a torn labrum. He had no shortage of chances to establish himself as a leading complement to Antonio Brown over the past four seasons, and while Wheaton did show some promising flashes, he never really emerged as a reliable No. 2 receiver. The Steelers also have some promising young talent at the position -- namely Sammie Coates (hand/groin) and Martavis Bryant (suspension) -- which will likely leave Wheaton in search of a new team.
Wheaton (shoulder) underwent surgery to repair his labrum Monday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports. Wheaton only played in three games this season, as he never returned from the shoulder aliment he suffered after Week 5's win over the Jets. He'll now be out of commission for at least three months, but could return in time for offseason workouts in April and May. Wheaton is an unrestricted free agent, so it's uncertain where he'll wind up next season, but this injury could deter teams from taking a chance on the wideout.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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