Final Cuts: Taking A Look At All 17 Cuts The Bears Made To Form The 53-Man Roster

Final Cuts: Taking A Look At All 17 Cuts The Bears Made To Form The 53-Man Roster

Saturday was doomsday for many NFL players as the official deadline for team’s to trim their rosters down to 53 came to fruition.

A whopping 704 players were either released or waived with the regular season now only five days away.

The Bears’ 17 cuts included a couple of surprises, but mostly it was what you’d expect from head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery.

Swing tackle Eben Britton, cornerback Kelvin Hayden, wide receiver/kick returner Chris Williams and defensive end Austen Lane were the most notable players to get their contracts terminated on Saturday, according to league sources.

The 13 other cuts included: linebackers Jerry Franklin and DeDe Lattimore, wide receivers Dale Moss and Josh Bellamy, offensive linemen Ryan Groy and Taylor Boggs, defensive linemen Tracy Robertson, Brandon Dunn and Lee Pegues as well as cornerbacks Al Louis-Jean, C.J. Wilson and safeties M.D. Jennings and Marcus Trice.

Eben Britton

Britton, who played 235 snaps in 2013 as a swing tackle and a third tight end was battling back from a left hamstring injury basically all through training camp. His release is somewhat of a surprise considering the Bears have only Brian de la Puente (who is still making his way back from an MCL sprain), Michael Ola and Charles Leno Jr. behind the starting five linemen. Britton could be brought back at some point this season if available, but for now tight end Matthew Mulligan figures to get the bulk of his snaps as the third tight end and blocker since he actually is one.

Kelvin Hayden

Hayden didn’t have a great camp and with Kyle Fuller locked in for a healthy amount of playing time next to Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings it was hard for him to stick around. Hayden doesn’t have special teams value at age 31, hence why solid preseason performers Sherrick McManis and Demontre Hurst won the final two spots at the position.

Chris Williams

Williams, a special teams star and a successful receiver in the CFL showed flashes of potential while battling through a hamstring injury through the preseason. However, the Bears felt as if he wasn’t worth a roster spot and now seem to be happy with Michael Spurlock as their kick returner and Santonio Holmes likely as their punt returner. However, Spurlock’s job isn’t safe by any means with the Bears opting to keep Senorise Perry as a fourth back. He can return kicks as well. The waiver wire is also an option for a kick returner if need be.

Austen Lane

Lane, a journeyman defensive end from Murray State hasn’t been able to find a home in the NFL after appearing for four teams in five seasons. He looked good in the preseason, but second-year talents David Bass and Cornelius Washington have tremendous value moving forward.

The Rest of The Cuts

–Bellamy got better with each game this preseason, but Santonio Holmes and Josh Morgan got the edge over him due to veteran leadership and proven ability. Bellamy has appeared in only eight games since entering the league in 2012 out of Louisville, so if available expect the Bears to place him on their practice squad.  Keep in mind that if the Bears place Marquess Wilson on the short-term injured reserve that would open up another roster spot, possibly for Bellamy.

–Franklin disappointed as a coverage linebacker and likely lost his spot on the team after a weak showing in the preseason finale against Cleveland. Lattimore had his ups-and-downs, but overall he was a nice addition as an undrafted rookie from USF. He could very well be on his way back via the practice squad. Christian Jones got the nod over these two because of his recent success at FSU and big-bodied frame.

–Jennings was released with an injury settlement after failing to move ahead of rookie Brock Vereen and special teamer Danny McCray on the depth chart. McCray, who has been playing with the first-team most of the preseason has a chance of starting in Week One against Buffalo if either Chris Conte (concussion) or Ryan Mundy (head laceration) are unavailable.

–Boggs can play any interior position along the offensive line and has the biggest chance out of any of these cuts to be brought back to the practice squad if possible. He would provide solid depth. Groy was an undrafted guard out of Wisconsin, who needs much more seasoning.

–Wilson had two interceptions this preseason and Trice looked like a project worth hanging onto. Both players should be considered for the practice squad as well.

For what’s it worth this is what my predicted 53-man roster looked like on Friday afternoon. The Bears made a couple of surprise moves that some really didn’t see coming, especially along the offensive line, where the depth is very thin at this point.

Former Bears Cut Around The League

Bengals – Safety Danieal Manning

Bills – Fullback Evan Rodriguez and quarterback Jordan Palmer

Bucs – Safety Major Wright

Chiefs – Tackle J’Marcus Webb

Cowboys – Defensive tackle Zach Minter

Giants – Defensive end Israel Idonije, tight end Kellen Davis and tackle Jamaal Johnson-Webb.


Thoughts on the Bears’ 53-man roster?

Note: Remember that the official 10-man practice squad can be formed on Monday.


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