Bears acquire star receiver Keenan Allen in trade with Chargers

Allen totaled 1,243 yards, 7 touchdowns for Chargers in 2023

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen reacts on his touchdown against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif.

The Bears traded for Los Angeles Chargers receiver Keenan Allen late Thursday night, a move first reported by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer. In return, the Bears are sending a fourth-round draft pick to the Chargers.

The Chargers have been shedding veterans and restructuring contracts in an attempt to stay under the salary cap. Per the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Chargers approached Allen about taking a pay cut, but the 31-year-old receiver declined.

Instead, the team shipped him to Chicago. It’s a major addition for Bears general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus.

Allen has played 11 NFL seasons, all with the Chargers. Six times he has totaled 1,000 yards or more. Just last season he recorded 1,243 receiving yards and seven touchdowns on 108 receptions. He was a go-to receiver for Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.

The Bears might finally have the one-two punch they’ve been looking for at receiver. Allen will join DJ Moore with the Bears’ receiving group. In his first year with the Bears, Moore totaled 1,364 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 96 receptions.

One question remains: Who will be throwing them the football in 2024? The Bears still have not traded quarterback Justin Fields, although Poles talked openly about the possibility at the NFL Scouting Combine. The Bears also hold the No. 1 overall draft pick and could be leaning toward drafting top prospect Caleb Williams in April.

Allen has one year remaining on his current contract, which includes an $18 million base salary and a $5 million roster bonus that kicks in over the weekend. The Chargers will be on the hook for his $11 million signing bonus.

Prior to Thursday’s trade, the Bears had only five total draft picks – including two fourth-round picks. After sending a fourth-round pick to Los Angeles, they will be down to four picks (two first-round picks, one third-round pick and one fourth-round pick). According to ESPN, the Bears traded the higher of their two fourth-round picks to the Chargers. They sent their own pick (No. 110) and still hold the Eagles’ fourth-round pick (No. 122).

But trading for Allen might be the Bears’ marquee move of the offseason thus far. Poles has been relatively reserved in free agency. The Bears signed running back D’Andre Swift to a three-year, $24.5 million deal, but have otherwise stayed away from the highest-priced free agents.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.