Coach Brian Flores did not commit to Jakeem Grant being his top returner moving forward after Grant muffed and lost a fumble during Miami's Week 4 loss to the Colts. Grant's shaky performance proved to be his final game as a Dolphin, as he was traded to the Bears Tuesday in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2023 draft.
Grant heads to Chicago after spending his first five-plus seasons in Miami. Along with contributing as a receiver, Grant blossomed as a returner during his time with the Dolphins. His return prowess earned him second-team All-Pro honors during his final season in Miami. Grant will look to make a similar impact for a Bears team that could use help at both receiver as well as on special teams.
Let's take a look at the grades both teams received following Tuesday's trade.
This was a low-risk trade for Chicago. In exchange for a future late-round pick, the Bears acquire a player who caught 36 passes last season while averaging 11.4 yards per punt return. Grant's presence should not only help a special teams unit that was in need of stability at returner, but he should also help a Bears passing attack that is currently last in the NFL in yards gained. Grant will look to complement receivers Darnell Mooney and Allen Robinson, who have combined to catch nearly half of Chicago's completed passes through four weeks.
The acquisition also gives the Bears more options at receiver, as newcomers Damiere Byrd and Marquise Goodwin have had slow starts in Chicago. Grant will have to prove that he can take care of the football after being credited with 12 fumbles during his Dolphins career.
Even before Grant's struggles Sunday, it was clear he was no longer in the Dolphins' plans. He had just one catch the previous three weeks and had just eight punt returns through four weeks. The Dolphins have viable options to replace Grant at returner in rookie Jaylen Waddle and defensive back Noah Igbinoghene.
However, the departure of Grant leaves the Dolphins with a lack of receiving depth behind starters Waddle and DeVante Parker. Allen Hurns (wrist) and Lynn Bowden (hamstring) are currently sidelined with injuries, and the Patriots claimed Malcolm Perry off waivers after he failed to make Miami's initial 53-man roster.
While it appears that the Bears were the winners in this trade, both teams ultimately got what they wanted. Chicago plugged holes at returner and receiver, while the Dolphins received trade value for a player they had apparently given up on. How Grant plays in Chicago will ultimately determine which team came out on top.