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DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 11: Cameron Meredith #81 of the Chicago Bears runs with the ball after a catch against the Detroit Lions late in the fourth quarter at Ford Field on December 11, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Wide receiver Cameron Meredith will reportedly be a member of the New Orleans Saints in 2018.

The Saints signed the restricted free agent to an offer sheet Friday, but the Chicago Bears had the opportunity to match it. However, they declined to do that Wednesday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter initially reported New Orleans signed Meredith to the sheet and noted it was for two years and approximately $ 10 million.

While Meredith is a potential game-changing wide receiver and figures to have plenty of production ahead of him since he is just 25 years old, there was more for Chicago to consider than his talent when deciding whether to match.

Meredith missed the 2017 season after he tore his ACL and has only one impressive campaign on his resume. He broke onto the scene in 2016 after just 11 catches for 120 yards and zero touchdowns in 2015, quickly developing into the Bears’ go-to option in 2016 with 66 catches for 888 yards and four touchdowns.

Chicago felt his absence in 2017 when it finished last in the league in receiving yardage. However, the team addressed the weakness this offseason by signing Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and tight end Trey Burton, which limited Meredith’s importance.

Still, Meredith is a 6’3″ red-zone option with the talent to take advantage of single coverage in New Orleans when Michael Thomas attracts additional attention.

Thomas is a legitimate No. 1 option who tallied 1,245 receiving yards in 2017, but running back Alvin Kamara was second on the team with 826 receiving yards. Meredith’s presence gives quarterback Drew Brees an additional option on the outside, meaning it will be difficult to direct double coverage anywhere with Thomas and Kamara as other potential targets.

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