Chicago Bears make slew of roster moves

Chicago Bears make slew of roster moves

News broke Sunday night that the Chicago Bears had traded offensive lineman Gabe Carimi to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a 2014 sixth-round draft pick — pending Carimi passing a physical — and shortly after on Monday morning, the rest of the dominoes began to fall.

The Bears announced the release of second-year fullback Evan Rodriguez, following his second arrest of the offseason, in addition to cutting ties with wide receivers Demetrius Fields and Dale Moss.

The corresponding additions followed as the team then agreed to terms with wide receivers Devin Aromashodu and Jerrell Jackson, as well as fullback Tony Fiammetta. Brining in another offensive lineman sometime in the near future to take Carimi’s spot on the roster could also be in the works.

As for the financial implications, in cutting Carimi, the Bears saved $1,016,458 against this year’s salary cap, while also picking up the additional draft selection in 2014. Prior to the Carimi release, the Bears had $1,771,310 in salary cap space, according to an NFLPA report.

Today’s moves muddy the waters a for a little while, but it’s likely that the Bears will still sit somewhere close to $2 million below the cap when all is said and done.

As for the on-field implications, the Carimi move did not come as a surprise in that the Bears were able to find a trade partner, and Carimi had likely wanted — perhaps even asked for — the opportunity for a fresh start elsewhere. It remains highly unlikely that the Bears would have cut him this early in the offseason had they not been able to move him via trade.

Injuries have hindered Carimi’s progress over the years, but the Bears seemingly put their roster in such a position that he may well have found himself competing just for a backup role along the offensive line this season, and so Chicago chose to part ways.

Certainly, only time will tell if sending Carimi on his way will prove a smart move. Should he bounce back from injury to become a starter in Tampa Bay, one might question the thought process behind sending a first-round draft pick packing, especially if the Bears find their own offensive line woes not corrected in 2014.

But all that remains to be seen.

The news of Evan Rodrigez’s release came as a minor surprise to me. Now, having said that, one should really never be surprised when a team decides to cut a mid- to late-round draft selection after a second offseason arrest, but I fail to see how letting Rodriguez go helps the team offensively.

In addition to that, Rodriguez was not a Jerry Angelo carryover like Carimi was; he was Emery’s pick, and Emery made that pick understanding that Rodriguez had a well-documented history of character flags coming out of college.

The releases of Demetrius Fields and Dale Moss, with all due respect to them, are essentially inconsequential.

The re-addition of the 6-2, 201-pound Devin Aromashodu, however, may not be quite as inconsequential. Aromashodu has hauled in 78 receptions for 1,193 yards and five touchdowns in 61 games over five seasons with Indianapolis, Chicago and Minnesota after being selected in the seventh round (233rd overall) in 2006 by the Miami Dolphins.

In his two seasons with the Bears, Aromashodu notched 34 receptions for 447 yards and four touchdowns in 24 games (four starts). He was a favorite target of quarterback Jay Cutler and left the Bears after falling out of favor with then offensive coordinator, Mike Martz, who reportedly — from conversations I had personally — didn’t care for Aromashodu’s lack of passion and fire.

Fire or not, there is no doubt the receiver boasts marginal talent as a receiver at the NFL level, and he certainly improves the bottom end of the depth chart.

The 6-0, 192-pound Jerrell Jackson appeared in one contest with Jacksonville as a rookie in 2013 after entering the NFL with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri. While at Missouri, Jackson appeared in 49 games including 24 starts at wide receiver, gathering 113 receptions for 1,434 passes and six touchdowns.

The team’s newest fullback, Tony Fiammetta has appeared in 34 games with 17 starts over three seasons with Carolina and Dallas after being selected by the Panthers in the fourth round (128th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. He has 11 carries for 26 yards and eight receptions for 73 yards during his NFL career.

More to come …

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Filed under: Roster Moves

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