Chicago Bears roster bubble candidate: WR Javon Wims

Dec 6, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Javon Wims (83) makes a catch against the Detroit Lions during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Javon Wims drop in the endzone against the New Orleans Saints in the Chicago Bears wild card loss still stings in the minds of Bears fans. Wims, wide open in the endzone dropped a pass from then-starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, just moments after he made a key catch down the sideline.

Once viewed as a promising piece of the Bears future, Wims showcased the potential to be a third-string wide receiver as a rookie and a player that could be a valuable depth piece, the former Georgia Bulldog and seventh-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft has developed more into a special teams contributor over the last two seasons.

Four months later, the Bears head into offseason workouts having added a significant amount of wide receiver depth throughout the offseason. Heading into year four, could Wims be on the roster bubble?

The case for keeping Wims

There appeared to be a point where Wims actually was a part of the Bears offense. While 18 receptions and six starts in 2019 may not be impressive, Wims showcased that he could at least be dependant and reliable depth piece who could get about 10-15 snaps a game but also contribute on special teams. Much of Wims contributions on offense came in 2019, when he played 46 percent of snaps, a career high.

Wims can be effective as a player who’s always willing to go up and fight for 50-50 balls. His size (6-foot-2, 221 pounds) gives him an advantage over small defensive backs but he does struggle creating separation which leads to a lack of targets at time. Speed also isn’t a strong aspect of Wims game. Rarely can he take the top off a defense, making him more of a player that can be effective in the short and intermediate passing game.

The case for cutting Wims

Chicago went into the offseason with the goal of getting faster on offense. That means adding speed to a unit that lacked enough quick and twitchy playmakers in 2020. As mentioned above, Wims doesn’t bring enough speed to the table which has always limited his impact.

Another aspect to examine is that Wims may have reached his ceiling. He’s been unable to carve out any significant role for the Bears but already entered the NFL with a limited ceiling. Wims also has been unable to consistently pick up yards after the catch, averaging just 1.2 yards after the catch.

Conclusion

Wims is clearly a player that will need to have a strong offseason and be on the same page with quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Justin Fields in order to have a shot at making the final roster. Chicago could also decide that Wims familiarity with the Bears system on special teams as a major reason to keep him around but ultimately, for a player heading into year four, he’ll need to improve significantly on offense to have a shot at making the team.