The Bears parted company with 4th year backup running back Kahlil Bell after he refused to take a pay cut. Bell was with the team in New Jersey preparing for the Bears’ third preseason game vs the New York Giants when he was informed of the team’s decision and headed back to the airport to come back to Chicago. How does that work, do they pick up the tab on his flight home? Knowing the McCaskey’s, they probably booked him on a red eye flight back with two connections.
It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Bell is the odd man out in the Bears running game. The Bears signed him to the high RFA tender of $1.26 million, but back then, they were more or less protecting themselves in case Matt Forte’s contract was still up in the air. With Forte locked up and Michael Bush signed as a free agent, the Bears sought a more economical answer for their third running back. When they asked Bell to take a $500k pay cut and he refused, opting to try his luck elsewhere. He’s got 24 hours to clear waivers and at that point, he’ll be a free agent. I wouldn’t be completely surprised if the Detroit Lions took a sniff around an NFC North rival’s castoff. The Lions are desperate for some help in the backfield.
Bell proved to be a capable runner from his first play from scrimmage, a 72-yard scamper vs the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football back in 2009, but his problem is ball security, where he coughed the ball up a couple of times late last season.
The Bears will most likely lean on Armando Allen to be the third down, change-of-pace back who can offer a different dimension than Forte and Bush.