The Bears had to cut five players to get down to the mandatory 80 player limit by Tuesday. Headlining the first round of cuts is defensive end and Jets reclamation project Vernon Gholston.
When the Bears brought Gloston in, the belief was that a chance of scheme – Lovie Smith’s 4-3 Cover-2 defense – as well as a change of scenery might help for former Top 10 draft pick. I guess that hope, along with Gholston, is gone. He failed to impress in the preseason and did not generate enough pressure off the edge to merit keeping him around.
With the injury to Corey Wootton, Gholston had a great opportunity to revive his career. Failing to capitalize on the opportunity likely means his NFL career is over. Cutting Gholston only costs the Bears about $250k, a relatively low cost compared to a couple of high priced 2010 free agents that will be seeking employment. The Bears informed running back Chester Taylor that he will be released. They haven’t made it official, possibly waiting to get an injury report on Marion Barber before making the move official in getting down to the final 53-man roster by next Tuesday.
Taylor was part of the free agent spending spree before the 2010 season, when the Bears signed Julius Peppers, tight end Brandon Manumaleuna and Taylor. With word that Taylor will be let go, 2/3 of that class – and approximately $13 million – are out the door. That’s a big miss. BIG. That’s the kind of miss that people get fired over.
But it’s refreshing that rather than clinging to high draft choices and big ticket free agents, the Bears are cutting bait sooner rather than later. It’s the kind of accountability that came to the forefront last season, when Lovie Smith wiggled out of the hot seat and saved his job while leading the Bears to the NFC Championship game.
The other four players who were cut were DT Tank Tyler, 4th QB Trevor Vittatoe, C J.C. Brignone and LB Tanner Antle. This round of cuts to get down to 80 players was easy. The next round to get down to 53 will be very interesting. Thursday’s preseason finale against the Browns will play a big role in a few of those cuts. Check back in before Thursday to see some roster projections and key battles that will play out as the Bears get set to battle the Browns.