The Bears released second-year tackle Rogers Gaines today. Gaines joined the Bears last season after week 3 and was assigned to the practice squad. Coming out of Tennessee St in 2013, Gaines was projected by most sites to be a 6th or 7th round pick due to his prototype LT size (6’6, 334), abnormally long arms (36 1/4″) and hands (10 5/6″), and surprising quickness for his size. He dominated at the FCS level as a senior but was viewed by most scouts as a project due to raw technique and a lack of competition in the Ohio Valley conference.
Gaines was signed as a priority free agent by the Ravens, who seem to like enormous tackles, but he was released in final cuts and then signed by the Bears a few weeks later. Gaines spent the 2013 season on the Bears practice squad.
I’m not sure exactly why the Bears released Gaines, but it could have something to do with the fact that the Bears signed T Michael Ola yesterday. Perhaps they had one too many tackles and released the last one on the depth chart or maybe they were unhappy with Gaines off-season conditioning. Either way, I wish they would have released Gaines a few weeks ago and opened up a spot for another priority undrafted free agent. The Bears now have two open spots on their 90-man off-season roster (Hixon & Gaines). Personally I am hoping they bring back a few of the players they invited to rookie mini-camp like TE Andre McDonald, WR Diontae Spencer, CB Al Louis-Jean, or SS Larry King.