Parting is such sweet sorrow, but there comes a day in every player's career when it's simply time to move on. And for these five players on the Bears’ roster, that time may have come. I toyed with the idea of including Brian Urlacher, but I'm still hopeful that Emery has a soft spot in his heart for No. 54.
1. Devin Hester
He may be the greatest return man in NFL history, but he is a failed experiment as a wide receiver. Marc Trestman and the Bears are looking for a vertical threat to complement Marshall and Jeffery, but one who has speed, can run solid routes and can actually catch the ball.
Hester can run, but he lacks everything else. With a new coaching staff in place, it’s time to say buh-bye to Hester, who isn’t even a factor in the return game anymore. Hell, if the Commish has his way, there won’t be kickoffs in the NFL anyway.
2. Kellen Davis
He has all of the physical attributes one would desire in a tight end, but has hands of stone. It’s time for the Bears to move into the modern NFL and go out and get a real TE who can catch the ball. Emery should be able to find someone in the draft to replace Davis. Heck, he could probably find someone better in the nearest YMCA.
That said, I do not expect No. 87 to return. WSCR contributor Dan Durkin tweeted that Davis has a $100K roster bonus due in March, so the end could come soon.
3. Israel Idonije
He has been a serviceable and, at times, a good DE who also played tackle in the nickel package for the Bears. He had 48 tackles (29 solo) and 7.5 sacks in 2012, so the Bears got their $2.5M worth. But if another team wants to overpay to get him, Emery will let him walk, especially with Corey Wootton expected to start and Shea McClellin around.
Peppers has a $16.3M cap number, so I doubt that Emery is looking to spend a lot on the line. They also need to save money to re-sign Henry Melton.
4. D.J. Moore
Moore was in and out of Lovie’s doghouse—last year for criticizing Cutler—but there is no telling what the new regime thinks of him. The nickel back had a disappointing season as he didn’t play much, but he can still contribute. It might be time for him to move on. Kelvin Hayden is also a UFA, so one of them could stick around.
5. Johnny Knox
This is a sad one, but it looks like Knox has played his last down of football, at least for the Bears. After that horrific spinal injury he suffered, he spent last season just trying to live his life. He lost a tremendous amount of weight and strength. The Bears miss his speed on the outside, and ironically will be looking for someone just like him in the later rounds of the Draft.
Filed under: Free Agency