The Bears have another wide receiver to consider as a possibility to leave now.
Veteran Rashied Davis, a restricted free agent, was given the lowest qualifying offer of $927,000 on Wednesday. When free agency begins tonight, he will essentially have 45 days to shop himself around the league in search of an offer sheet. If Davis signs one, the Bears would have seven days to match it or lose him without receiving any compensation as he was not a draft pick.
The slot receiver might have some value for another organization. Mike Martz is looking for a host of receivers for his system in San Francisco, and Davis might fill the role of someone like Shaun McDonald well. Houston, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh could also potentially be in play for Davis.
Davis did not get a lot done this last season with 17 catches for 165 yards, but that was a product of the struggling offense as a whole, as much as anything. He asserted himself on special teams where he was fifth with 11 tackles in part-time duty, and became more valuable. The Bears had general discussions about a multi-year offer for Davis, but appear to be content to wait and see what the market brings for the former Arena League star.
Safety Brandon McGowan was also given a qualifying offer. It is not known if it is at the low level of $927,000, where the Bears would have only the right of first refusal, or if the team took him to the next level at $1.417 million. If the Bears bumped him up to that next level, it would ensure he remains in place for this season because that level calls for a second-round draft pick as compensation for signing him. No one is going to fork one of those over for him.
McGowan started nine games last season, the final five at strong safety when he showed marked improvement. His 45 tackles during the final five games was surpassed only by middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. McGowan needs to prove he can put durability issues behind him—he’s had a knee reconstruction and also blown out an Achilles tendon—but many think the arrow is pointing up because he’s still relatively inexperienced and has proven to be a fast learner. Certainly, the Bears have need at safety.