A day after making 22 moves, the Bears were back at it on Sunday afternoon.
The big news early in the day was the arrival of former Green Bay guard Josh Sitton at Halas Hall. He’s visiting with Ryan Pace and the front office and could land a deal. He has a possible visit with New Orleans following, per ESPN insider Adam Schefter.
As for the moves the Bears did make, two waiver claims were successful as center Eric Kush and cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc joined the team. Also, the Bears signed veteran tight end Logan Paulsen. Three corresponding cuts must be made to get back down to the 53-man roster.
Starting with Kush, the fourth-year pro has appeared in 10 games, making one start since joining the league as a sixth-rounder out of Division-II Cal Penn. He spent 2015 with four different teams including Tampa Bay, Houston, Carolina and St. Louis. He was a part of the final cuts by the now Los Angeles Rams on Saturday.
Kush’s addition likely spells the end for second-year center Cornelius Edison on the active roster. Edison could move to the practice squad.
The other addition, LeBlanc is an undrafted rookie out of Florida Atlantic. He spent the preseason in New England. At 5’9″, 194 lbs., he projects as a slot corner who can contribute on special teams. He had six interceptions and 23 pass breakups for the Owls. He can also return punts and kickoffs.
LeBlanc faced the Bears often as he practiced against them for three straight days prior to the second preseason game. He had seven tackles and a pass breakup in the preseason. LeBlanc should be a replacement for fourth-year corner Demontre Hurst, who hasn’t been a consistent cover man.
The third move came later in the day as former Bears center Will Montgomery reported that Paulsen had signed with the team. The 29-year-old appeared in 75 games, making five 42 starts with Washington from 2010-15. He had 79 catches for 801 yards and six scores.
A toe injury placed Paulsen on injured reserve last August. With Washington’s signing of veteran tight end Vernon Davis behind Jordan Reed, Paulsen was disposable. The Bears get a much-needed upgrade with him now in the mix.
Hurst, Edison & Lee all waived
The Bears had to make three cuts with the trio of signings they made on earlier Sunday. Jeff Dickerson reported the first two moves while Brad Biggs reported the third one.
This is the fifth time Demontre Hurst has been released since joining the Bears as an undrafted free agent from Oklahoma in 2013. He couldn’t take advantage of a depth spot at slot corner even with Bryce Callahan out.
As for Cornelius Edison, the second-year center played well in the third preseason game but didn’t put together good tape in the finale. He is a prime candidate for the practice squad.
Tight end Khari Lee was acquired for a 2017 sixth-round pick last season. The Bears like Greg Scruggs, who converted from defensive end this off-season. Lee could be back on the practice squad if he clears waivers.
Practice squad formed
WR Daniel Braverman
Note: Pro Football Talk first reported that seventh round rookie went unclaimed and will sign with the Bears practice squad. He’ll be the team’s backup slot receiver with Eddie Royal entrenched as the starter.
TE Ben Braunecker
Note: Undrafted out of Harvard, an ankle injury kept him out of most of training camp. The Bears like what he brings as a blocker who could potentially be used in H-back role. He’ll be developed on the practice squad. This move was reported by ESPN’s Adam Caplan.
CB De’Vante Bausby
Note: The Tribune’s Brad Biggs reported this one. The second-year corner from Pittsburg State played rather well for an unknown corner this preseason. At 6’2″, 190 lbs., Bausby has nice range and cover skills. The Bears want to develop this kid.
LB John Timu
Note: Undrafted out of Washington, John Timu started the final three games of last season for the Bears. Missed tackles and poor angles cost him his spot as the team kept both Jonathan Anderson and Christian Jones as depth at linebacker, but he can sharpen up his skills on the practice squad. This move was reported by Biggs.
OL Jason Weaver
Note: Jason Weaver became the first player to be waived on Saturday morning but now he’s back 24 hours later. The Bears are his fifth team since 2013. The 27-year-old Southern Mississippi can play both guard and tackle and played well at times in the preseason. This signing was reported by Biggs.
QB Matt Barkley
Note: Cut by both Philadelphia and Arizona, the 2013 fourth round pick will be the Bears’ No. 3 quarterback via the practice squad. David Fales went to Baltimore’s practice squad, per the Tribune’s Rich Campbell. Barkley’s signing was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
RB Senorise Perry
Note: The team announced later in the day that running back Senorise Perry would return to the team as a practice squad member. He joined the Bears in 2014 as an undrafted rookie from Louisville. Perry is a special teams standout.
Ferguson reverts to IR
The Bears waived 2014 second round pick Ego Ferguson on Saturday. He went unclaimed off of waivers and will revert to the Bears’ injured reserve. It appears he’s not completely over his knee injury from a year ago. The defensive lineman from LSU is not in the team’s future plans and he hasn’t proven to be much more than a run stuffer.
Hester gets another shot
The 33-year-old was waived by Atlanta this off-season after two years there, but on Sunday he landed a one-year deal with Baltimore. A turf toe injury allowed him to play in only five games last year and forced him to have off-season surgery. He appears to be healthy and ready to build off of his NFL record 20 return touchdowns. I’m glad to see Hester earning another chance.
What do you think of the Bears’ latest moves? Comment below.
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