Don't let the door hit you on the way out. That's probably what most Chicago Bears fans thought when news broke Tuesday that WR Devin Aromashodu had signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings. The news was expected when the Bears declined to offer a qualifying tender prior to the beginning of the lockout in early March. Aromashodu, a 7th round draft pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2006, was expected to have a breakout season in 2010 under new offensive coordinator Mike Martz after hauling in 24 receptions for 298 yards and four touchdowns in just 10 games the previous season.
Despite playing in 14 games in 2010, Aromashodu finished with a mere 10 receptions for 149 yards 0 TDs. Half of his season receptions total and nearly half his receiving yards came in Chicago's Week 1 win over the Bears. It was all downhill in a hurry after that.
In his defense, Aromashodu was perhaps miscast as a slot receiver in 2010. His value seemed to be as a tall, athletic option for Jay Cutler on the perimeter. But he struggled to find soft spots in zone coverage and quickly slid down the depth chart and out of the good graces of both Martz and Cutler. He was targeted only 24 times all season.
Considering he was just a restricted free agent, it's telling that the Bears wouldn't offer a qualifying tender to the former 7th rounder. It would have cost very little to retain him for the 2011 season while the Bears sort out their plans at WR. Attitude issues and an inability to contribute on special teams likely were the deal breaker considering how little firepower the Bears have at the position heading into training camp.