Will Chester Taylor get his walking papers during the offseason?

Rumor Mill: Bears Will Release Chester Taylor

We all know that football is a year-round sport nowadays and the longest part of the NFL season is upon us – the offseason.  Now the emphasis shifts from the action on the field to the action in the front office.  With nothing else to do, the rumor mill gets churning, so as these stories merit, we’ll discuss.  The focus of today’s Rumor Mill – Chester Taylor will be released this offseason.

CSN Chicago’s John “Moon” Mullin reported this about a week ago, but it must have gotten lost in the pre-Super Bowl hype.  Here’s what Moon reported in his post taking a first look at the 2011 Bears offense:

One source told CSNChicago.com that Chester Taylor would be cut after his one disappointing year at huge money, and at 32, Taylor’s arrow is definitely not pointing up. But the team has paid him already and is not under money pressure at the position because Forte and Taylor combined are far below elite money.

Matt Forte has been quietly campaigning for an extension and who can blame him after a solid bounceback campaign in 2010?  As for Taylor, I’m not breaking any news when I say he was disappointing, especially considering the $7 million pricetag for 2010 alone.  With another $1.3 million due next season, it’s no surprise that the Bears would consider sending Taylor walking.

Don’t forget that the Bears picked Harvey Unga up in last summer’s supplemental draft, giving up their 2011 7th round pick to draft him.  With little time to learn the offense and an already-crowded backfield, it’s shocking that Unga suffered a mysterious foot injury that sidelined him for the 2010 season.

The Bears also stashed Kahlil Bell on their roster this season but he didn’t appear in any games.  Add special teamer and Jerry Angelo pet-project Garrett Wolfe and you’ve got quite a crowd.  Wolfe will be an unrestricted free agent, so it will be very interesting to see if he figures into the Bears’ plans going forward.

If I had to handicap the race, I think the rumor mill is right on – look for the Bears to cut Taylor.  He did little more than short yardage and provide an occasional breather for Forte.  Figure Unga to compete for the short-yardage role and Bell and Wolfe to battle it out for the 3rd running back/special teams role.  It’s possible the Bears’ backfield next year is Matt Forte, Kahlil Bell and Harvey Unga.

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