With just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter, Tracy Porter clinched a Bears victory at Lambeau Field over the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 27, 2015. He jumped a Davante Adams route to intercept Aaron Rodgers and the Bears won 17-13 that night (VIDEO).
On Monday morning, Porter became a cap casualty as the Bears announced the release of the 30-year-old veteran. The Indiana product leaves Chicago after making 28 starts in two seasons, 83 tackles, three interceptions, 21 pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
The move trims $3.6 million off the Bears’ books for this season.
Porter was a core starter for the Bears from 2015-16, adding a physical presence as a man cornerback. He was the most consistent corner on the team during that span. Injuries have slowed him down his entire career as he’ll now be searching for his sixth NFL team since entering the league as a second round pick via New Orleans in 2008.
To play the past season and prove his worth yet again for a thin Bears’ secondary, Porter would get one of his knees drained on a week to week basis. He’s made it through just two full seasons healthy which included 16 games in 2016.
With the additions of Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper earlier this off-season, it appeared Porter was facing thin odds to make the roster. Then, the team signed B.W. Webb last Wednesday to add another new face to the cornerback room.
Add in the fact that Kyle Fuller, Bryce Callahan, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Deiondre’ Hall and Johnthan Banks are all vying for roster spots and it was hard to see where Porter fit. His special teams value is diminished by his past injury woes and if he isn’t a starter, then it would make little sense to keep him at his price.
Porter will find a new team that is thin at the cornerback position perhaps his first one in New Orleans where he is famous for intercepting Peyton Manning and returning it 74 yards for a touchdown in a Super Bowl XLIV win. He also had an interception of Brett Favre at the end of the 2009 NFC Championship win over Minnesota (VIDEO).
The Bears took a chance on Porter in June 2015 despite his battle to stay on the field between three franchises over three years (Washington, Oakland, Denver). He was rewarded with a three-year, $12 million deal ($4.25 million guaranteed) last off-season.
Now, the Bears will turn their focus to continuing to find playmakers and making the secondary younger and more athletic. This a very deep draft class and general manager Ryan Pace should be able to work his mid-round magic by finding a cornerback to groom.
In case you missed it (off-season moves)
STORY: Bears add Webb to secondary
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