Image of Chris Finke

Bears’ latest move at wide receiver won’t help Ryan Poles silence critics

First, the good news: The Chicago Bears added a wide receiver. The bad news? The wide receiver is Chris Finke.

If you’re wondering who Finke is, you aren’t alone. Die-hard Notre Dame fans certainly remember the former Golden Domer who played a somewhat prominent role in the Fighting Irish offense in 2018 and 2019. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and spent time on their practice squad before signing a futures deal with the Kansas City Chiefs in January. Finke was placed on waivers Wednesday, and the Bears pounced.

Obviously, this isn’t a move that will have much if any impact in 2022. Someone inside the Bears’ scouting department probably likes Finke quite a bit and with plenty of roster spots open, adding him at this time of year is harmless. Or is it?

Poles has been the target of criticism since the conclusion of the 2022 NFL Draft when he prioritized defense in the second round. The Bears’ need at wide receiver was so great that draft pundits all but guaranteed it would be the position Poles targeted in round two. He could’ve had wide receiver George Pickens or Alec Pierce. Skyy Moore was still on the board. But Poles addressed the secondary instead, and the aftermath hasn’t been kind. It’s gone as far as to question whether Poles believes in quarterback Justin Fields.

Ludicrous, I know.

One way to get the spotlight off the wide receiver situation is to ignore it altogether. Football writers will get bored and move on. They’ll find another team to pick on. But the Bears are, in a way, asking for more jokes at their expense with this transaction. It revives the narrative that Chicago isn’t serious about their investment at wide receiver or in the weapons around Fields.

Again, I know. It’s ridiculous. But a move like this welcomes those talking points with arms wide open.

Finke, who stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 187 pounds, ran a 4.57 40-yard dash at the 2020 NFL combine. He hasn’t made any receptions in the regular season. His profile suggests he won’t make it to training camp, let alone make the roster.

Then again, if he stacks a bunch of contested catches like this one over Kyler Gordon and Jaylon Johnson in practice? Ya never know.

Hopefully, Finke becomes a great story this summer and rises from the trash heap of May football content. It’s unlikely, though, and at some point, Poles has to do his part to keep the attention off of the Bears’ wide receivers for the rest of the offseason.

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