The Bears made their first round of cuts today in order to get down to the 75 man roster limit by Tuesday, August 26th. The Bears roster is now at 81, so 6 more players need to be cut by Tuesday. There were a couple of surprises among today’s cuts, including DT Nate Collins, S Adrian Wilson and recently signed return specialist Darius Reynard. I broke down all the cuts and their roster implications below:
DT Nate Collins – A favorite of the coaching staff since being signed in 2012, Collins’ biggest problem hasn’t been talent, it’s been staying on the field. Collins has struggled to stay healthy with a variety of leg injuries including a torn ACL that ended his 2013 season in week 4. He was having one of his best games in a Bears uniform before he got hurt with a sack on the Saints Drew Brees. The release of Collins is the biggest surprise to me as I thought he was a lock to make the team after the DT depth issues the Bears had last season. The fact that they were willing to let Collins go is a sign to me that the Bears coaching staff has faith in rookie DTs Will Sutton and Ego Ferguson to play significant minutes this season. Also, the ability of DEs Lamarr Houston and Willie Young to slide inside on passing downs lessened the need for a 5th DT. The Bears normally keep 10 D-lineman, so with only 4 DTs expected to make the team now it bodes well for DEs on the roster bubble like Trevor Scott, Austen Lane, and Cornelius Washington. All three of them have played very well in the preseason games and their chances to make the roster improved with the release of Collins.
S Adrian Wilson – He’s a 5-time Pro Bowler and a known name so some fans may have thought Wilson was going to make the team, but he was clearly outplayed by Ryan Mundy at strong safety. Wilson had a clause in his contract that he would be released if his didn’t win the starting job by week 1, so this wasn’t much of a surprise. Wilson played OK in the preseason games, but looked a step slow and nothing like his old Pro Bowl form. At 33 years old, this could be the last we see of Wilson in the NFL.
KR Darius Reynaud – The Bears just signed him last week in an attempt to inject some life into their return game. Reynaud had two kick returns for 40 yards total and 1 punt return for no yards. Reynaud led the NFL in total return yards in 2012, but apparently the Bears didn’t see enough explosion from Reynaud. The fact that rookie Senorise Perry had more success in his first chance to return kicks may have had something to do with his release.
RB Michael Ford – With both KR Reynaud and backup RB Ford being released today, the chances to make the Bears final roster suddenly look much better for rookie Senorise Perry. That is good news for me as well as I have been singing Perry’s praises from the beginning. I’m a Perry fan and think we haven’t seen the best of what he can offer yet. I thought Ford had a shot to make the roster as a kick returner but he hasn’t done enough when given a chance and his pass blocking issues kept him from getting a chance at RB. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ford catches on somewhere else.
G Dylan Gandy – Was signed a few weeks ago after an injury to C Brian de la Puente. Gandy played really well in limited preseason action but with Jordan Mills and de la Puente getting healthy the Bears don’t need as much depth at the position. Young guards Michael Ola, Charles Leno, Ryan Groy and James Brown have all played fairly well in the preseason and appear to be in the hunt for the final two backup OL spots.
T Joe Long – I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did. Long was terrible in preseason action (-5.4 grade over 2 games).
CB Derricus Purdy - Was decent in limited preseason action but Purdy wasn’t as impressive as other young CBs like Demontre Hurst, Al Louis-Jean, and CJ Wilson.
WR Greg Herd - Was signed right after the Marquess Wilson injury, but only had one catch in three preseason games.
WR Kofi Hughes - Kofi we hardly knew ya! The Bears just signed Hughes late last week but I guess he didn’t impress enough to stick around.
CB Peyton Thompson - Another addition late last week who had only been with the team a few days before being released.
Tags: Chicago Bears