The Bears don't need to make initial cuts until Tuesday, but on Saturday they decided to let 12 players go; cutting their roster down to 78 in the process.
Safety Adrian Wilson, defensive tackle Nate Collins, running back/returner Michael Ford were the biggest names released, according to the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs.
While quarterback Jordan Palmer, returner Darius Reynaud, linebacker Jordan Senn, guard Dylan Gandy, tackle Joe Long, wide receivers Kofi Hughes and Greg Herd and cornerbacks Derricus Purdy and Peyton Thompson were also informed by the team that their contracts would be terminated.
Wilson, Collins and Gandy were all released, while Ford, Long, Hughes, Herd, Purdy and Thompson have been waived, all five players are eligible for the practice squad if the Bears opt to bring any of them back.
The 34-year-old Wilson made six tackles in three preseason games playing on the second-team defense alongside rookie Brock Vereen. A five-time Pro Bowler, who took last year off with a foot and ankle problem called Haglund's deformity, is likely done with the NFL.
If Wilson made the team at all he would have figured in to be a rotational strong safety, but he clearly didn't show that enough was left in the tank to carve out a role.
Collins, a five-year pro and two-year contributor with the Bears fell far down the depth chart with rookies Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton in town. Recovering from ACL surgery just 10 months ago certainly didn't help his chances either.
He had no tackles in the preseason, but should latch on to another team in need of a rotational defensive tackle. That squad could possibly be the Green Bay Packers, who officially placed B.J. Raji (torn biceps) on injured reserve Saturday.
Ford, who made the team as an undrafted free agent out of LSU last season didn't do much to improve his stock this preseason. He had five carries for 13 yards and failed to make anything happen on kick returns, where he had the best chance of earning a roster spot.
Palmer lost out on the backup job last year against Josh McCown and he once couldn't win the gig against Jimmy Clausen this preseason. Clausen, 26, takes over as the No. 2 and is much more of an athletic player than Palmer. However, Palmer took his departure in the classiest way possible with this tweet.
I'll be wearing #bears gear and supporting the bears for the rest of my life. Regardless of what happens. This is the best org in the NFL.
— Jordan Palmer (@JwPalms) August 24, 2014
Senn, a 30-year-old special teams contributor was competing for a job on Joe DeCamillis's unit. But clearly he struggled along with a special teams group that didn't look good through the first three games of the preseason.
Gandy, a 10-year pro had 120 games of experience along with 19 starts with Indianapolis (2005-07), Denver/Oakland (2008) and Detroit (2009-2013). The versatile lineman lined up at guard for the Bears throughout training camp, but had played center before. The 32-year-old might be on the street until a major injury occurs this season for a team in need.
Long, the younger brother of Rams star left tackle Jake Long, signed with the Bears late last season after spending time with St. Louis and Pittsburgh. The 25-year-old should land on someone else's practice squad.
Kofi Hughes/Greg Herd
Hughes, an undrafted free agent out of Indiana spent the early part of the off-season with Washington before coming to the Bears. Herd is a second-year man out of Eastern Washington, who had one catch for two yards in three games. With solid depth at the back end of the receiving core, neither player had much of a chance to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.
Derricus Purdy/Peyton Thompson
Purdy was signed as an undrafted free agent from Texas Southern. Thompson was appearing on his third team in as many seasons. Both players are very raw at this point in their careers.
The Bears must trim the roster down to 75 players by Tuesday afternoon before playing on Thursday against Cleveland. They once again have to make cuts on Saturday, this time down to 53 players.
Stay tuned for more updates.
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